Court sets arraignment of 8 PCG men in Balintang shooting
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - July 4, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Batanes regional trial court has set the arraignment of eight coast guard men accused in the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman off Balintang channel in May last year.

The Batanes RTC Branch 13 has scheduled the hearing on Monday, July 7, at 8:30 a.m., according to Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera.

During the arraignment, the accused Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel would be required by the court to submit a plea of guilt or innocence on the homicide charges filed against them by the Department of Justice (DOJ) last March.

The PCG officers – Commanding Officer Arnold Enriquez de la Cruz, Seamen 1st Class (SN1) Edrando Aguila, Mhelvin Bendo II, Andy Golfo, Sunny Masangcay and Henry Solomon; SN2 Nicky Aurello; and Petty Officer 2 Richard Fernandez Corpuz – asked the Supreme Court last month to order the transfer of the case from the Batanes court to any court in Metro Manila.

They said justice would better be served – both for them and other parties, including prosecutors and complainants – if the trial will be held in Metro Manila.

Through their lawyer Rodrigo Moreno, the accused said it would be a “great inconvenience” on their part to look and present witnesses and evidence for their defense if the hearing is held in Batanes.

The eight accused were charged in court for homicide for the fatal shooting of fisherman Hung Shih-cheng on May 9 last year.

The DOJ also filed charges of obstruction of justice against De la Cruz and SN1 Bendo, Marvin Ramirez and Martin Bernabe before the Municipal Trial Court of Cagayan province for allegedly submitting tampered evidence of the video footage of the incident.

The four allegedly gave false information to the NBI on the number of bullets discharged during the shooting.

Last May 7, the PCG officers surrendered and posted bail before Manila RTC for the criminal cases after the Batanes and Cagayan courts issued the warrants of arrest. 

 

ANDY GOLFO ASSISTANT STATE PROSECUTOR JUAN PEDRO NAVERA BATANES BATANES AND CAGAYAN COMMANDING OFFICER ARNOLD ENRIQUEZ COURT CRUZ DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE EDRANDO AGUILA HUNG SHIH METRO MANILA
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