Philippines admits to killing Taiwan fisherman, assures investigation

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-5-10 16:44:22

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday admitted to killing a Taiwanese fisherman off northern Philippine sea on Thursday at a press conference here.

However, the Coast Guard said the Taiwanese vessel tried to ram the Philippine ship, and its personnel opened fire in self-defense.

The incident resulted in the death of a 65-year-old fisherman and serious damage to the vessel.

PCG Commandant Rear Adm.Rodoldo Isorena said the ship, owned by the Bureau of Aquatic Resources but manned by Coast Guard personnel, opened fired at the Taiwanese fishing vessel when it ignored a warning shot.

The Filipino Maritime Control Surveillance 3001 vessel spotted four Taiwanese fishing vessels about 43 nautical miles east of Balintang island at around 10:30 a.m. Thursday during a law enforcement patrol, according to PCG.

"MCS 3001 tried to board one of the vessels and the Taiwanese fishing vessel repeatedly tried to ram our MCS 3001 forcing our MCS to fire warning shots and eventully on the machinery portion of the vessel to disable the same," the PCG said in a statement issued at a press conference on Friday.

"We now have information that one of the fishermen died," Isorena said.

He said that this incident is very unfortunate and efforts will be executed to prevent similar occurrences.

"We sympathize with the family of the fisherman who died and we assure them of a transparent and impartial investigation," he said.

The PCG official also vowed the PCG would relieve all personnel on MCS 3001 of their duites while the investigation is on going.

Philippine Deputy Presidential Spokeswaman Abigail Valte said in a news briefing on Friday that the government investigation on the shooting incident has been ongoing.

Valte said, "Warning shot was fired but the vessels did not stop in the attempt to continuously ram the BFAR vessel so another shot was reportedly made on the machinery portion of the (foreign) ship," she said.

"The ramming of the boat into our vessel was certainly an aggressive act, so the PCG responded accordingly," she said.

According to media reports, a Taiwanese fisherman was shot dead on Thursday morning when a Filipino ship opened fire on a Taiwanese fishing boat. After killing the fisherman, the Filipino ship continued to chase and fire at the Taiwanese vessel. It escaped danger only after fleeing for more than an hour, with equipment onboard severely damaged.

Posted in: Diplomacy

blog comments powered by Disqus