Balintang shooting: Trial of PCG men set
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - November 18, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A Batanes court is set to start the trial of eight Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) officers involved in the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese poacher in Balintang Channel in May last year. 

Batanes Regional Trial Court Branch 13 Judge Ramon Barona set the hearings on Nov. 24 and 25, according to Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera.

The trial was set after the court dismissed last September a motion of the accused seeking the dismissal of the case.

Seven of the eight accused have been arraigned and all of them pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. They were Commanding Officer Arnold dela Cruz; Seamen 1st Class (SN1) Mhelvin Bendo II, Andy Golfo, Sunny Masangcay and Henry Solomon; SN2 Nicky Aurello, and Petty Officer 2 Richard Fernandez Corpuz.

SN1 Adrando Aguila will be arraigned on Nov. 24 since he was excused from a previous hearing due to the death of a relative.

Navera said a pending petition before the Supreme Court of the PCG personnel seeking to transfer the trial from Batanes to Manila could not be used as a basis to suspend the proceedings on the homicide case.

The prosecutor recently flew to Taiwan to interview witnesses in the case.

All eight accused are facing homicide charges for the death of fisherman Hung Shih-cheng on May 9 last year.

A BATANES ADRANDO AGUILA ANDY GOLFO ASSISTANT STATE PROSECUTOR JUAN PEDRO NAVERA BALINTANG CHANNEL BATANES REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCH COMMANDING OFFICER ARNOLD HUNG SHIH JUDGE RAMON BARONA MHELVIN BENDO NICKY AURELLO
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