Taiwan ministry: Let’s lift sanctions vs PH

Agence France-Presse
The foreign ministry in Taipei acknowledges as 'constructive response' Manila's move to recommend homicide charges vs coastguard personnel who killed a Taiwanese fisherman

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s foreign ministry said Wednesday, August 7, it would push for the lifting of sanctions against the Philippines after Manila recomended homicide charges in a shooting case that severely strained ties.

Calling Manila’s move a “constructive response,” the ministry said it would recommend the Taipei government improve relations, including lifting sanctions imposed after the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by members of the Philippine Coast Guard.

In a separate move, Taiwanese prosecutors on Wednesday charged 8 Filipino coastguard personnel with homicide following the killing in May.

The indictment was considered symbolic as it is unlikely that the Philippines will allow the accused to be tried in Taiwan due to the lack of formal diplomatic ties.

“The Philippine coastguard illegally chased an unarmed fishing boat for 75 minutes and fired more than 100 shots at it, which was clearly not proper defense…and with an intent to kill,” prosecutors said in a statement.

Among the 8 charged with murder are the commanding officer Arnold dela Cruz and seaman first class Edrano Aguila, who was found to have fired the M14 rifle that killed the 65-year-old fisherman.

Taiwan’s indictment came the same day as Philippine justice department investigators recommended homicide charges against the 8 coastguard personnel.

The incident happened in waters near a Philippine island that Taiwan also claims as part of its economic zone.

Taiwan reacted furiously, announcing a ban on the hiring of new workers from the Philippines and suspending official trade and academic exchanges.

The two sides later swapped teams of investigators following weeks of acrimony over the death. – Rappler.com 

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