MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima confirmed on Thursday, June 13, that the National Bureau Investigation (NBI) has recommended the filing of criminal and administrative charges against personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard involved in the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman.
In a text message to reporters, De Lima also confirmed that she already submitted the NBI’s recommendation to President Benigno Aquino III. De Lima is currently in Europe on official business.
The PCG admitted on May 10 that its personnel shot dead a 65-year-old Taiwanese fisherman, after his vessel sailed into Philippine waters.
The shooting caused a rift between the two countries, prompting Taiwanese Premier Jiang Yi-huah to sanction the Philippines, including imposing a ban on the hiring of Filipino workers.
Both Taiwan and the Philippines conducted a “parallel investigation” on the incident. The Taiwanese probers earlier reported that that PCG had “intent to murder” the fisherman.
In a phone interview Thursday afternoon, De Lima said she could not confirm whether officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) were also recommended by the NBI to be charged.
“Until it will be adopted and approved by the President, I cannot disclose anything yet as it is improper,” De Lima said.
De Lima said both countries have not yet shared their reports with each other.
De Lima said both countries “deliberated and expressed views” during their “closed-door session” on June 6, adding they went through “an objective evaluation of the evidence.”
But whether Taiwan will find the NBI report acceptable, De Lima said, “remains to be seen.” – Rappler.com