Accused coast guard officer pleads not guilty on homicide charges
(The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2014 - 8:00pm

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - A commanding officer of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) involved in the shooting incident that led to death of a fisherman from China's Taiwan in May last year has pleaded not guilty to the homicide charges at the regional court, a court official said today.

PCG Commanding Officer Arnold Enriquez dela Cruz has pleaded not guilty to the homicide charges lodged against him and several other coast guard officers for the fatal shooting of Taiwan fisherman Hung Shih-cheng on May 9 last year before a Batanes Regional Trial Court (RTC) since it has jurisdiction over the site of the shooting incident.

Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) formally filed last April criminal charges against eight PCG officials and personnel for the fatal shooting of Huang.

The court has set the preliminary conference of De la Cruz's case on Sept. 1 and 2 while his pre-trial has been scheduled to Oct. 6 and 7, according to assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera.

Meanwhile the Batanes court has deferred the arraignment of De la Cruz's other co-accused due to their pending motions filed before the RTC, Navera said.

These PCG officers intercepted a Taiwanese fishing vessel in May last year and fired after a sea chase at the fishing vessel, killing Huang Shih-Cheng, 65, one of the four crew members of the fishing vessel.

In recommending the filing of the charges, Navera's panel junked the claim of the respondents that they were forced to fire at the Taiwanese fishing vessel. The panel also said they found no evidence to prove that the Taiwanese fishing vessel posed an imminent or grave danger to the respondents before and during the pursuit.

The DOJ panel also said the claim of self-defense by the respondents should be better left threshed out in the trial court, during a full-blown hearing.


 

BATANES REGIONAL TRIAL COURT COMMANDING OFFICER ARNOLD ENRIQUEZ COURT CRUZ HUANG SHIH-CHENG HUNG SHIH MEANWHILE THE BATANES NAVERA PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD PHILIPPINE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE STATE PROSECUTOR JUAN PEDRO NAVERA
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