PH summons Taiwan witnesses for fisherman death case

Rappler.com
The DOJ panel investigating the case has issued subpoenas for 3 Taiwan residents, coursed through the Manila Economic and Cultural Office

INSPECTING THE PCG BOAT. Filipino and Taiwanese investigators inspect the MCS-3001 vessel involved in the death of a Taiwanese fisherman in South Harbor, Manila, Philippines, 28 May 2013. Photo by Susan Corpuz/EPA

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued subpoenas for 3 Taiwan residents in connection with the May 9 incident at the Balintang Channel, where a Taiwanese fisherman was killed by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The following Taiwan residents – 2 Taiwanese and one Indonesian – are ordered to “personally appear” before the DOJ at a hearing on September 9, at 2 pm, where they will subscribe and swear to their affidavits:

  • Hong Yu Zhi
  • Hong Jie Zhang
  • Imam Buchaeri

The request has been coursed through the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), who will then serve the subpoenas and notices to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines (TECO). TECO will then serve the notices to the persons mentioned.

“It should be noted that these Taiwan residents may also bring with them their respective witnesses and other documentary or physical evidence during the hearing,” the letter accompanying the notices and subpoenas said.

It was dated August 23 and signed by Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera and Alexander Suarez. The document was stamped received by the MECO Tuesday, August 27.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), last August 7, recommended homicide charges against 8 PCG personnel involved in the death of fisherman Hung Shih-Cheng, when his boat was chased and shot at by the PCG for allegedly entering Philippine territory illegally.

The case has strained relations between the Philippines and Taiwan, with the latter placing sanctions on the former, including freezing the hiring of Filipino workers. The sanctions has since been lifted.

Manila has formally apologized to the Taiwanese government and to the family of the fisherman. – Rappler.com

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