NBI recommends homicide vs Coast Guard in Taiwanese death
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - August 7, 2013 - 2:46pm

MANILA, Philippines - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recommended that homicide charges be filed against eight Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel involved in the Balintang Channel shooting.

Revealing results of the June investigation, NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas said on Wednesday that all eight PCG crewmen on board surveillance vessel MCS 3001 were found to have fired at the Taiwanese boat, killing 65-year-old Hung Shih-cheng on May 9.

Rojas added that the investigation report also showed that the shooting was within Philippine territory in the waterway off Batanes Islands.

He said that PCG personnel can only use firearms when there is an existing fatal threat, which was not established in the investigation.

Rojas also said that four other PCG personnel will be charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly tampering with the video evidence submitted to the investigators.

"These PCG officers and personnel falsified a gunnery report which reduced the rounds of ammunition used in the incident. They also spliced the video taken of the incident cutting off vital portions, which they then presented to NBI investigators,"  the NBI official said.

The event soured the country's relations with Taiwan, which demanded a public apology from the Philippine government and issued travel warnings against the Philippines.

Related story: Slain Taiwanese fisherman's family still demand Phl apology

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou also ordered a freeze hiring against overseas Filipinos--a move which reportedly deprived the country's workers of 10,000 jobs.

Taipei held a parallel probe and sent a team to Manila to look over the incident as NBI was conducting its own inquiry.

BALINTANG CHANNEL BATANES ISLANDS DIRECTOR NONNATUS ROJAS HUNG SHIH NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NBI PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD PHL ROJAS SLAIN TAIWANESE TAIWANESE PRESIDENT MA YING
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