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Philippines rejects Taiwan’s allegations of murder

Taipei says fisherman was killed intentionally by coast guard officers

AFP-JIJI, Kyodo

The Philippines on Saturday rejected Taiwan’s allegations that its coast guard had intentionally murdered a Taiwanese fisherman whose death has triggered a major diplomatic spat.

Hong Shi-cheng, a 65-year-old fisherman, was shot dead by the Philippine Coast Guard, who said his vessel intruded into Philippine waters.

Chen Wen-chi, director of Taiwan’s Department of International and Cross-Strait Legal Affairs and head of the team investigating the May 9 incident, said most of the bullets had hit the fishing boat’s cockpit where its crew were hiding.

“By combining the . . . evidence, it clearly shows that the Philippine law enforcers were intentionally shooting the Guang Ta Hsin 28 crew members, which indicates their intent of murder,” Chen said in Manila.

She told a news briefing, held at the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in Manila, that “the Philippine government has tried to prolong and delay our requests for a joint investigation.”

“Although we made some progress (Friday), we still feel discontent with the lack of sincerity and credibility exhibited by the Philippine side in cooperating with our team,” said Chen, who is heading the 13-member investigation team that arrived in Manila on Thursday.

The shooting, which Manila insists occurred inside Philippine territorial waters but which Taipei counters happened within Taiwan’s exclusive economic zone, has led to Taiwanese sanctions against its neighbor.

The Philippine Coast Guard initially said that the Bureau of Fisheries vessel, which was involved in the incident, encountered the Taiwanese vessel some 43 nautical miles from Balintang Island in the northern part of the Philippines, well within the country’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III’s spokesman, Ricky Carandang, rejected the murder allegations.

“There is an investigation ongoing so any premature statements that tend to confuse the issues and inflame passions should be avoided,” Carandang said.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, in a separate statement, also urged everyone to refrain from making statements “that would further fuel or aggravate the prevailing tension between the Philippines and Taiwan.”

Chen’s comments echoed those made by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou in Taipei on Friday.

“If (Philippine) civil servants used automatic weapons to fire at unarmed and provocative fishing boats, this was not carrying out their job duties. This is cold-blooded murder,” Ma said.

Aquino made a “personal” apology Wednesday over the “unintended” death arising from the patrol’s duty of protecting Philippine waters against illegal fishing.

Taiwan has rejected the apology. It recalled its de facto envoy, banned the hiring of new Philippine workers and staged a military drill in waters off the northern Philippines earlier last week.

The Philippines officially recognizes Beijing over Taipei but maintains trade ties with the island, which employs about 87,000 Filipinos.

Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday urged Taiwan to ensure the safety of Filipino workers following reports of attacks by angry Taiwanese.

“We heard and we read in the papers that they have been hit by bats and four have been hospitalized,” Binay told reporters, according to an official transcript released by his office.

“We are appealing to the Taiwanese people to spare our overseas Filipino workers from conflict,” he added.

Taiwanese media reported that a Filipino was treated in hospital after being attacked by a gang of youths.

“We’ve seen reports that their leaders have assured the safety of our people there. We expect them to act on these reports (of attacks),” Aquino spokeswoman Abigail Valte said.

Nearly 10 million Filipinos live or work abroad, and the tens of billions of dollars in earnings that they all remit back to their homeland every year help prop up the Philippine economy.

Taiwan’s Chen added that even if the Philippine Coast Guard officers were on antipoaching patrol, “they should follow the procedures of warning, dispelling, boarding and detaining the illegal vessel, then, proceed to the legal procedure, according to the relevant regulations of the international maritime law.”

Chen said Taiwan is, however, willing to welcome an investigation team from Manila, should the Philippine government decide to send one.

  • Pareto

    this is the best balanced report I have read on this incident. it clearly state why Taiwanese cannot accept Aquino’s personal apology on “unintended” death.

    • jenny

      How do you know it’s unintended or intended? Were you there to say that?

      • cucumber_v

        Well, your president seems to be pretty certain that it is purely “accidental and unintentional”. Why don’t you go ask him how he knew.

      • jenny

        Not my president. Why do you assume I’m from the Philippines? If you checked news and read comments from people from other countries than conflicted two, maybe you would change your point of view.
        You really think people have nothing else to do but shoot to others without a reason? Philippines are a very religious country, I don’t think they would kill anyone intentionally.

      • ben

        I don’t see Philippines being a very religious country has anything to do with some of their Coast Guards trying to kill others intentionally.

      • jenny

        Believe me or not but religion has actually a very big influence on people. I can give you an example: Islam. How many fanatics killing innocent people? How influenced they are by their religion?
        There’s no confirmation yet that they wanted to kill the fisherman intentionally. To be honest – I really think that was an accident. If someone’s shooting already – why would they kill only one person? Why would only one bullet get to those people and not more? It doesn’t make any sense. They probably didn’t even know they killed someone until the fishermen arrived in Taiwan.

      • jenny

        Believe me or not but religion has actually a very big influence on people. I can give you an example: Islam. How many fanatics killing innocent people? How influenced they are by their religion?
        There’s no confirmation yet that they wanted to kill the fisherman intentionally. To be honest – I really think that was an accident. If someone’s shooting already – why would they kill only one person? Why would only one bullet get to those people and not more? It doesn’t make any sense. They probably didn’t even know they killed someone until the fishermen arrived in Taiwan.

      • jenny

        Actually religion has a lot to do with people. Look at Islamists, for example.
        Looking at the case it’s just weird – if they really wanted to kill someone they would most probably kill them all (why have witnesses?). Only one bullet got to the fisherman and, unfortunately, he was shot. The rest of them were okay. Isn’t it weird for a “cold blooded murder” that only one bullet out of 50-something hit the man? I guess they didn’t know they shot/killed someone until the fishermen arrived in Taiwan.

      • http://getironic.blogspot.com/ getironic

        So is Egypt and Afghanistan…and Iran…and Syria.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ace.aceman.37 Ace Aceman

    In what world would an unarmed fiberglass fishing boat attempt to ram an official patrol ship armed with more than 10 M-16, M-14, and machine guns?

    Lets even assume further that if there was such attempt to ram the patrol ship, you needed to send them 59 bullet holes in order to stop them?

    And to clarify the Philippines lies, the incident happened outside of Philippines territorial boundaries, and the location is within 200 miles eez to BOTH countries. In most cases where there is such overlap, the 2 countries would negotiate to settle a mutually agreed upon boundaries. Up to today, Taiwan is very willing to enter into negotiations regarding such boundaries, Philippines is not. Thus defined as disputed waters.

    Another lie regarding “Taiwan not accepting apology”. Philippines wants Taiwan to accept an apology for “unintentionally causing death”, and strongly denied that the killing was intentional. Please anybody tell me how you would “unintentionally” kill someone by sending 60+ armor piercing shots their way? (this doesn’t include shots that missed the fishing boat altogether!

    • mike

      Mr.Ace,
      Please read it again:
      The Philippine Coast Guard initially said that the Bureau of Fisheries vessel, which was involved in the incident, encountered the Taiwanese vessel some 43 nautical miles from Balintang Island in the northern part of the Philippines, “WELL WITHIN” the country’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

      -NOT both as you say. are you deceiving the readers by adding both?
      -their are official investigation by Philippine’s NBI.however Taiwan Gov’t is NOT making it easy for our investigators to see the fishing boat.
      so your “59 bullets seen in the fishing boat” is not official. i bet you just heard it in the news.
      -Please don’t forget that many Foreign ships(China at first & Taiwans own) as been going into “Philippine Territory” and stealing/pouching natural resources(Ants,Fish,protected Animals,smuggling,etc) for the God knows when.
      -Our Coast Guard done there duty to protect these. not perfect, but they did.

      -if you where in the Philippine’s shoes, you would have done the same.

      Please research more before you comment “Misleading” terms the readers of japan times.

      Let’s ALL wait for the Official Investigation done by Taiwan, Philippine’s NBI and U.N).

      Peace to both Country’s people.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ace.aceman.37 Ace Aceman

        Mr Maloran,

        For your information, the location of the incident, logged by the ship’s GPS, was at 20.07 degrees north latitude and 123.01 degrees east longitude. It is located at 164 nautical miles southeast of Taiwan island. So, yes, although it’s 43 nautical miles from Balintang Island, it’s still OUTSIDE the 24 nautical miles territory for BOTH COUNTRIES and within the 200 nautical miles EEZ of BOTH COUNTRIES. And since an negotiated agreement has not been set to clarify the border (one of Taiwan’s demand following this incident is to begin negotiation to define such border), it is still defined as disputed water.

        And my apologies to the incorrect info on the bullets. Taiwan authorities has done the investication on the ship. Total bullet holes on the ship, according to the published results and photo evidences, is still at 59. However, analysis found that some holes are exit bullet holes, and total shots is at 45 shots.

        Please explain how are these straight-forward facts “misleading”. Thank you very much!

      • jenny

        Actually Taiwanese fishermen were first caught deep inside PHP territory. But once they started running away (instead of prepare for boarding and get arrested for illegal fishing) they ended up closer to Taiwan.
        Taiwan has no right to demand any negotiations about the territory due to One China Policy. Only Beijing can call for those negotiations.

      • noobie

        The story you said is out of any evidence.

      • jenny

        Just as your stories. The whole thing is based on the story of fishermen who could lie just to protect themselves and not be punished. Because why should they say “we broke the law and were fishing illegally” if they could say “we were calmly fishing in our own territory when out of nowhere they started shooting at us”. Sounds fishy, doesn’t it?

        About the One China Policy – it’s true. You can read about it.

      • http://getironic.blogspot.com/ getironic

        You seem to be pretty happy about the way that that policy would disarm Taiwan from criticizing anyone or making any progress, but are you really sure you want to advocate that? Getting China involved is like poking a sleeping tiger with pointy stick. You’re better off dealing with Taiwan.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.gomez.90 Ryan Gomez

        The location you provided is between both Philippine Island so IT IS within Philippine waters. 20 degrees 123 degrees is between Batan and Calayan Islands both of which are Ph islands.Go look for maps online check for your self.

    • jenny

      Firstly, there were actually 4 fishing boats, not 1. They only talk about 1 because it was shot and others not. So yes, 4 of them could ram a bigger ship.
      Secondly, it is impossible to fire one bullet from a machine gun. Even if you hold it for 3 seconds more than 50 bullets will come out. They were shooting at the engine not at the people so the boat would stop.
      Thirdly, Taiwan signed long ago that those waters belong to the Philippines. Too bad Taiwanese media and government are somehow forgetting about that fact and aren’t telling about that the public.
      And at the end I’d like to say the reason Taiwan is so willing to enter the negotiations regarding those zones is because they want to claim Philippine waters. Taiwan waters are out of fish due to overfishing. That’s a fact. You really think the government would make such a fuss about one fisherman? I don’t think so.

      • http://www.facebook.com/cherrygame Anna Lynn

        The fact is, a Filipino coastguard used a machine gun to fire and kill an unarmed fisherman without following International Law in terms of territorial protocols. That’s the problem – the Philippine government don’t make a fuss for one life killed whether Filipino or foreigner. But Taiwan government is different, it is capable of seeking justice for just 1 life of its citizens.

      • jenny

        You really believe that. Wow.
        Taiwan government doesn’t give a crap about the fisherman. They use the accident for their own political benefits.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ace.aceman.37 Ace Aceman

        Ms Jenny,

        Following your logic, wouldn’t it be weird that if a bunch of ships try to ram your coast guard ship, the ONLY ship that got shot by machine gun is the ship that shows no evidence of ramming?

        Your second comment. So you belive that it’s normal and ok for an official ship to shoot machine gun at a fishing boat, if only for 3 seconds and “only” 45 bullets? (I correct my self on bullet count)

        Your thrid comment. Please show us a link that follows to such agreement that Taiwan and Philippines signed. Because according to the public knowledge that I can gather, 20.07 degrees north latitude and 123.01 degrees east longitude is still only 164 nautical miles from Taiwan and is still officially considered part of Taiwan EEZ as well as Filipino EEZ. Contradictory? yes, that’s why they called it disputed water.
        Lastly, yes, Taiwanese government, along with ALL of Taiwanese people, not only make a fuss about one fisherman being killed. In fact, we get EXTREMELY OUTRAGED and would demand justice because of it.

      • Magnus Chiu

        Nice job ace for clarifying. I don’t know where you all come but this is what i know and btw i come from taiwan. We have video evidences showing that we did not cross the border and did not either ram into the philippine ship. But the philippines reports says that we have 4 boats and we were the ones who start the fight and they are saying this without any evidences showing us what they are saying are true. The Taiwanese are angry because the philippines doesn’t seem to care and laughs when talking about this issue.

      • jenny

        Let me clarify something – I’m not a FIlipino nor a Taiwanese. But it happened I live in Taiwan for 3 years already. i always loved the fact that the government is okay here so you really think I would change my opinion so drastically if nothing really happened?

        My point is – I walk on the streets and I see people talking they want war. Really? Do then even know what war is? How many people might die?

        If Taiwan’s investigators really have a video the case should be closed soon. But I heard Philippine’s investigators have a video, too.

        Going back to possibility of ramming the ship – the ship could miss. They didn’t need to literally hit the coastguard but they could try.

        The agreement was signed during the previous PHP president (whose name is apparently also Aquino) and I’m sorry I don’t have a link right now but once I find that information again I will definitely provide it.

        Finally – Taiwanese people are manipulated by media and the government. I repeat – the government wouldn’t be making such a mess about one fisherman if not for its own interest. If you ever thought that politicians really care about things like these – it’s your wake up call.

        And one more thing – there should be no talking and no accusations until the investigation is over. But unfortunately diplomacy in Taiwan is long lost.

      • garushiya

        Could we see the video? Put it in youtube or wherever people could access please.

      • Magnus Chiu

        you think i have it? it was on the news but they wouldn’t share it. Although there were proofs that the vdr existed because they showed some parts of the video. If you don’t believe me then check Taiwanese news. Btw sry for my bad grammar for my last post, i was in a rush. Idk what really happened but I just want a justice for the dead fisherman’s family.

      • noobie

        I guess the “video” mentioned here should be “VDR” which may record where the fishing vessel had been. Taiwan government had said the Philippines investigators may come to Taiwan to examine our evidence, but not as they will at present since they just cancelled the cooperative investigation.

      • jenny

        Found it! The accident happened in Balintang Channel which is part of the Batanes Islands and is within Philippine territory Refer to Wikipedia:

        “The Balintang Channel is the small waterway that separates the Batanes and Babuyan Islands, both of which belong to the Philippines, in the Luzon Strait”.

        Coordinates: 19°57′30″N 122°09′06″E

      • noobie

        Where is this coordinate from? From a forum user?
        The incident happened east to the Philippines isles, not in your Balintang channel or what. The VDR of the fishing vessel had recorded where it had been, and it had never intruded the Philippines territory.

      • jenny

        You’re right, the incident itself happened farther from the PHP territory, however the fishermen were firstly caught deep inside PHP EEZ. If they were running away and chased of course they would run to their own territory.

    • garushiya

      Lessons Learned: If you are approached by the police, do not run away or in this case, turn towards the police. If you turn towards the police without letting them know of your intentions, you will be fired upon because the act will be considered hostile. The best thing to do is standfast and let the police do their job. The Philippine Coast Guard is not military, they are the police of Philippine territorial waters. Nonetheless, they have the same rules of engagement as with any police in the world.

      • Magnus Chiu

        how did you know if the boat run away? Maybe they didn’t run but the philippines still shoot at them. Would you want to stay and get shoot till dead or run away?

      • http://www.facebook.com/cherrygame Anna Lynn

        Hi Garushiya, in the Philippines, Cost Guards operates as military police that is why they are armed with weapons in their ship. They work under the military agency, you may check Wikipedia and other sources. However, the Philippine government seem to have shut down it’s website http://www.coastguard.gov.ph to avoid investigations and issues..

      • jenny

        Maybe you have some problems with internet connection? Their website works just fine, I just visited it.

      • noobie

        This can also be applied to situations when you are approached by pirates. Give them all your money or you’ll die.

      • Dan Li

        Though, admittedly the difference between pirates and the coast guard is that one has legitimate state authority and the others are out with an evil animus.

      • geoffrey

        btw where is the police? it simply means criminal can come close and let the criminal hit the police if you know that is a criminal? lol! come on.

  • TW Huang

    I would say never have your citizens killed at sea by the Philippines because they will offer you the worst, arrogant apology then insist they’re decent and respectable.

    You will feel angry and helpless cuz you just don’t know what to do to prevent the same tragedy happen again.

    • denissan2121

      Have you read the apology to pass this judgement? Get you emotions in order first. There is no amount of apology that will satisfy a government who plays this for political gains. Taiwan is part of china. And being that its only because we see taiwan to be economically viable that trade exist in a nation level. What Taipei is not what friends do. Cutting ties and demanding apology that is tantamount to admission is laughable.

      • noobie

        If the “unintentional” is adjusted to such as “would- be-unintentional”, president Ma would not have enough excuse to take these actions. The Philippines government made judgment beforehand, if Taipei admits this, there will not be any further steps to justify this incident. Let’s think about the similar incident happened 2006, Philippines ignored Taiwan’s request to punish those killers. Now if Taiwan fishermen will be killed again and again!

      • TW Huang

        Our government don’t accept this time because it protects the Taiwanese people okay? For uncivilized monkey like you who don’t know how to apology, that’s why we don’t have other choice but to send our navy to remind you that we are a country with strength against a neighbor which is pirate in disguise cuz it violates the international law it signs.

        BTW Taiwan and China are different countries. It’s a pity that you can’t comprehend even our countries stay side by side. Japanese, another neighbor, know the difference.

        Also it’s hard to blame that you are not educated to know sympathy cuz you are from a laughable third world country. Better care the inefficiency and corruption in your country before accusing our government.

    • garushiya

      We do not want this incident to happen again. We should stay in our own territorial waters to keep the peace. It won’t be long the Japanese will also be tired of these illegal fishermen and they will stop arresting them.

  • reddfrog

    PCG is as corrupt as the rest of Philippine government. They are known to be professional extortionists and operate no differently than Somalian pirates. According to fishermen, they would demand ransom or bribes or they will confiscate their boats. They will also plant dynamites and accuse the fishermen of illegal fishing. The Taiwanese and Chinese navy should thus treat these PCG no different from pirates and blast them out of the water on sight.

    • denissan2121

      These fishermen are poachers and smugglers and have plague the north for far too long. The presence of the Taiwanese navy in the area should deter these menace and is welcome by the Filipino people.

      • garushiya

        It looks more like the Taiwanese navy is letting their fishermen fish illegally in Philippine waters. At least they should remind these illegal fishermen that they should not be where they are not supposed to be. Taiwan, as it was said by their former gov’t official, has 26 warships. That should be enough to keep their fishermen from fishing in somebody else’s territorial waters.

      • http://www.facebook.com/cherrygame Anna Lynn

        Taiwan acknowledge that it is a dispute waters, but the point their making is that no one should be killed especially if unarmed. Taiwan penalizes fishermen who cross borders. But crossing borders is not subject to immediate death penalty, there must be trial. There are a lot of illegal Filipino immigrants inside Taiwan too. If both countries will kill all trespassers – this will be a total war.

    • Callie Gonzales

      This is the most judgmental comment I have ever read. How could you say PCG is as corrupt as the rest of the Philippine government? I know PCG more than anybody else here because my brother is a PCG and he and his fellow are too far from what you are accusing them. Your comments about the ransom and bribes are movie-like thing which makes me laugh. How could you with a little knowledge about the Philippines can speak about this issue in such manner. please re-read your comment and ask yourself if you are making sense. I don’t mean to be rude but how could people like you become so judgmental… I mean if we don’t know the real issue the best thing to do is to be neutral or might as well shut up.

      • agustin

        please dont generalize, there are still few good hearthed men in our arm forces and government

    • garushiya

      Yes, the Taiwanese and Chinese navy should blast the Philippine Coast Guard out of the water if they are not in Philippine territorial waters. In the meantime, their navy and fishermen should stay out of Philippine waters and other territorial waters that is not theirs. If they do not have anymore fish in their own waters, well, they are just out of luck. The Philippine Coast Guard should start arresting these illegal fishermen like the Japanese does. The PCG is just shooing them out and so the illegals just keep on coming back.

  • Ricky070

    I just want to let the readers know that the location where the incident took place is well below south of the internationally recognized maritime border between Taiwan and the Philippines (Bashi Channel separate Taiwan and the Philippines). And the incident where it took place was well within the Archipelagic Baseline of the Philippines meaning it’s inside Philippines territory. And for an archipelagic nation like the Philippines, the 12 nautical mile starts from the baseline of the country and not from land. Please google “Philippines Archipelagic Baseline”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ace.aceman.37 Ace Aceman

      As far as I can see on internet, there is only the “Philippines Archipelagic Baseline Law”, which is a Filipino domestic law not backed up by any foreign treaty or recognition.

      And there is no such thing as “internationally recognized maritime border” between Taiwan and Philippines. Both countries have their own EEZ and before the 2 countries sit down and signs an agreement or treaty, i’ts disbuted waters.

      • Ricky070

        An Achipelagic Nation like the Philippines is entitled to an archipelagic basiline under the UNCLOS, the same UNLOS for EZZ.. Indonesia has a baseline too and countries who wish to define their archipelagic baseline needs to have a law in their country which define their baseline before submitting their baseline to UNCLOS.

        The Bashi Channel is usually recognized internationally as a border separating Taiwan and the Philippines. EEZ and the internationally recognized border between Taiwan and Philippines is different. If we were to follow the UNCLOS rule for creating a EEZ and settling the overlapping EEZ between the Philippines and Taiwan, the the overlapped EEZ would be somewhere in the Bashi Channel between the northernmost part of the Philippines and the southernmost part of Taiwan. Taiwan needs to follow the rule for creating a EEZ under UNCLOS rule.

        Here look at this article.

        http://maxdefense.blogspot.com/2013/05/fishingboat-shooting-incident-is-taiwan.html

      • noobie

        You said Taiwan needs to follow the rule, but how about Philippines? Taiwanese fishermen is not supposed to cross the imaginary line, but Filippinos fishermen can go everywhere they claim to be their exaggerated economic zone? The fishermen only know they go to disputed waters unless a treaty or agreement is signed to define where they cannot go. It’s their rights.

      • Ricky070

        What about the Philippines? The Philippines has abundant resources, it does not have to go to other country’s territory to fish. You guys are the one who go to other country’s territory and fished illegally, it’s not us. You guys need to stay on your side of the border between the southernmost tip of Taiwan and the northernmost tip of the Philippines (from the Batanes Island Group), and you guys do need to educate your fishermen because there is such a thing as baseline and border that separate one country’s territory from another and many of you seem to be ignorant about that. The Bashi Channel separate the Philippines from Taiwan, you guys need to stay on your side of the border. And the overlapping EEZ that Taiwan always claim as a bases for poaching into other territory lies around the Bashi Channel because the Philippines’s EEZ does not extend beyond the southernmost tip of taiwan’s territory just as Taiwan’s EEZ can’t extend past beyond the northernmost tip of Philippine territory (from the Batanes Island Group). The overlapping EEZ between Taiwan and Philippines lies between the southernmost tip of taiwan and the northernmost tip of the Philippines (Batanes Island Group), not deep inside Philippine territory but between the tip of each other’s territory which is in the Bashi Channel.

        Here, take a look at this article:

        http://maxdefense.blogspot.com/2013/05/fishingboat-shooting-incident-is-taiwan.html

      • kt

        i dont think that murdering people is a good method of education. you completely missed the point, ricky. who freakin gives a crap about where any border is, you shouldn’t kill people for crossing a border they may or may not know about. thats like if i went and shot all the immigrants from other countries working in my country illegally. “oooh, but they were not in their country!!! so i shot them!!!”

      • jonteesoy1

        murder is not the word, it is an accident. the boat was trying to rammed the Coast guard. Sometimes we learned the hard way.

      • Ricky070

        I think you are misleading what happened and you need to keep up to date with the investigation rather than relying solely on taiwanese media sensationalizing and misleading report about the incident. The person did not die because he crossed the border, the person died because they made a wrong move by not cooperating with the authority and instead turned hostile towards the authority. According to recent report, the PCG followed protocols and engagement procedure and the PCG, leading to the event, did not intentionally shoot the person who died. The PCG tried to shoot at the engine to try and disable the boat because it was trying to ram the PCG. According to report, the person who died was inside the engine room at that time which was accidentally got hit from one of the bullet meant for the engine. Nobody from the PCG could have known that the person was there in the engine room at that time. Note that U.S. coast guard occassionally employ shooting at the boat engine to immobilized it to stop them from evading the authority. And you know, not cooperating with the coast guard authority by thumbing your nose at them and ramming their boat is not a good idea. The area where it happened is also notorious as a route for smuggling and other illegal activity In the U.S. if a person in a car turned hostile and doesn’t want to cooperate and instead use that vechicle to ram the police officer or any authority, they get shot at by the police and more often than not, death happened. It’s not to say that loss of life is okay but under the circumstances, accident do happen and what happened happened. It is what it is.

      • Harthorn

        I find it strange that an unarmed fishing boat would take aggressive action and attempt to “ram” a larger, armed vessel. I find this “attempt” at rationalizing a shooting to be weak, unless of course if the fish they were catching were too delicious to ignore, which I doubt when, if the coast guards have followed protocol and fired warning shots, a reasonable person would have fled rather than attack.

        I assume government vessels would have recording devices attached to their vehicles, should this not be released to prove their case? If they do not release, or delay the release… for what reason?

      • Abu

        Taiwan has no EEC. Taiwan is not a signatory to UNCLOS. Taiwanese drug smugllers uses northern Philippine waters to smuggle drugs into the Philippines

      • noobie

        Any country insulting their neighbors with such word deserves more fierce response than military drill.
        You already have the right to arrest those Taiwanese criminals, why don’t you do it.

      • st0815

        It’s not like Taiwan has the choice to sign UNCLOS. As long as the UN doesn’t allow Taiwan to participate in these treaties, that’s an unreasonable complaint to make.

  • garushiya

    I am just wondering why there is only one fisherman killed if the Philippine Coast Guard intends to kill them and why would the Philippine Coast Guard let them go?

    • http://www.facebook.com/cherrygame Anna Lynn

      According to Taiwan’s investigation – other companions of the dead fisherman hid in the cabin when they heard the gunshots. The fisherman who got hit was the captain of the boat, he was unlucky to get a fatal shot on his neck that caused his death. Everyone is still waiting for the investigation from Philippines – and while they say it is “on-going”, most of their representatives are already making final statements which upsets the Taiwanese. Based on Philippine news – the local interview with head of Bureau of Fisheries of Philippines, he said he has nothing to do with it – therefore it is not illegal fishing. Taiwan is pushing for a fast turn around time of investigation as it is a fact that cases in the Philippines, even their local court cases, takes decades to finish! By that time justice has been delayed way too long. Justice delayed is justice denied.

  • MQLARA

    Better wait for the results of investigations from both parties and UN, better to keep quite and listen, better to do good than make another violence/crime to both people… Better not to put another flame on it bcoz it would not finish the issue and may cause more lives and pain in both countries… May the peace be with our hearts and mind…

  • joe c

    I’d like to provide you guys with some information here. Those who speak without solid ground need to check out laws before posting comment in order not to downgrade themselves.

    1. A country territory only includes those water within 12 nautical miles from coast

    2. An EEZ (Exclusive Economy Zone) is NOT a territory but a water anywhere from coast within 200 nautical miles a country claims to have ECONOMY right. A coast guard vessel do NOT have the right to kill but only stop, search, seize or (if nothing found) let go freely of a foreign ship.

    3. A country has the right to claim an EEZ only if this country has signed a international treaty. In another sense if a country (for example, US) did not sign the treaty this country represents two intentions: a. Reserve the right to claim it’s EEZ, b. Do not recognize EEZ of other countries. Good example is Canada has signed the treaty while US does not. If a vessels were to show up in Canada EEZ the Canadian Coast Guard MAY, accordingly Canadian Law, have the right to stop and search this US vessel while this US vessel has the right to refuse been stopped and been searched (because US did not sign this international treaty). Remember only those who signed the treaty has the right to claim EEZ but it is not in anyway affect other countries who did not sign this treaty.

    4. Because a Coast Guard only has the right stop or seize a foreign ship or let go freely in EEZ, Continuous shooting 59 bullets (not including those went into water without trace) is definitely a crime even the Philippine coast guard claimed this Taiwan ship posted threaten to them (we do not know it is true or not, let just wait to see). The point is even there WAS a threaten, once a threaten has ended the coast guard must immediately stop fire and they are not allowed to keep chasing with continuing fire. Simple and easy, Just like any criminal can be shoot dead only if a criminal posts immediately threaten to a law enforcement, once the threaten is no more the law enforcement must cease fire but only try to take custody of this criminal.

    5. This incident was happened 160 nautical miles south of Taiwan, 50 -60 nautical miles north of Philippine, which clearly sated it is an EEZ (Exclusive Economy Zone) can be claimed by both. For the very same reason why it is called “Disputed Water” because both countries has the right to claim it is their EEZ.

    Mind all readers here we are talking about human right. Do not miss the point. What is right is right, wrong is wrong. Personally I do not buy what the P Coast Guard said. What do you think?

  • Vince Lee

    A bigger problem is China is coming to get oil, fish and many other resources from the phillippines. China is going to walk all over phillippines. And in the future, Taiwan will NOT help phillippines during china harassments. It was not a smart move by the Phillippine coast guard who tried to kidnap a fisherman and get ransom money.

  • JustPassingThru

    What makes you think that the Philippine government has the military power to even stop an invasion? First off, the weapons that Philippines own are already out dated. Out dated like those in post World War II and Pre-Vietnam war type of out dated. Past 1986, no president has ever tried to improve military capability of the country to a degree that would match up with the current technology. The technology being used in the military are considered relics of today already. You don’t need a statistics report on this one, this is just plain fact. Thus in going to war, the only thing that the country would be good at is outnumbering the infantry of the enemy. And no leader appointed today would stand in front of you to even defend you. No, not without the promise of gaining anything from you. Those in power will be the first to leave the country and leave those who they promised to served to die in the hands of their enemy.

    Also “War Hardened”? You and just like every other Filipino out there is living in peace and have been living in peace ever since the World War ended. What the soldiers do best is just protecting places of influential people. There is no war, only skirmishes with rebel groups, and these could hardly even count for any combat expertise since the army itself can’t even over throw rebel groups. The lack of tactical commandeering and strategies is very obvious with such performance of the these soldiers.

    Either in defence or in offence, the Philippines would never stand a chance against a full scale war.