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Noy apologizes to Taiwanese fisherman's family

Camille Diola - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Manila Cultural and Economic Office (MECO) Chairman Amadeo Perez flew to Taiwan on Thursday morning to personally apologize to the slain fisherman's family on behalf of President Benigno Aquino III.

Perez, who touched down at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at around 10:30 a.m., proceeded to the hometown of 65-year-old fisherman Hung Shkh-cheng in southern Taiwan's Pingtung County.

The MECO chief will deliver President Aquino's apology letter to Hung's family. The letter reportedly contains the Philippines' offer of compensation to the fisherman's relatives.

Hung died after a group of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel fired at a group of Taiwanese fishermen's boat in Balintang Channel, within the territory of the Philippines near Batanes province.

"We will ask for forgiveness and our deepest apology to members of the family once we step our foot on the soil of Taipei," Perez said before his departure from Manila at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The National Bureau of Investigation has recommended the filing of homicide charges against the eight PCG personnel involved in the shooting incident.

Perez left the country with other MECO officials including Antonio Basilio and Manuel Dimaculangan. They were scheduled to meet with Taiwan Foreign Minister David Lin as the Philippines attempts to repair ties with Taiwan.

The incident sparked a series of sanctions by Taiwan against the Philippines, including a travel alert and the freeze hiring of Filipino workers in Taiwan.

Hung's daughter Tzu-chien had said that the country's reconciliation with Taiwan should only come after it has apologized for the incident.

Related: Slain Taiwanese fisherman's family still wants Phl apology

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou also said that he will not lift the work ban on Filipinos if the Philippines would continue to refuse to apologize for the incident.

"We are waiting for a response from the Philippines. If there is a positive response, we definitely will lift the sanctions," Ma said, addressing Taiwanese military last June 26.

An estimated 10,000 jobs for Filipinos have been lost due to the tension between Taipei and Manila.

vuukle comment

ANTONIO BASILIO AND MANUEL DIMACULANGAN

BALINTANG CHANNEL

CHAIRMAN AMADEO PEREZ

HUNG SHKH

MANILA CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC OFFICE

NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

PEREZ

PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

PINGTUNG COUNTY

TAIWAN

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