Philippine President Benigno Aquino III sent his envoy to apologise on Thursday to the family of the Taiwanese fisherman who was killed by Filipino coast guard officers in May.
The Chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural office, Amadeo Perez Junior arrived on Taiwan’s outlying Liuqiu Island to visit the dead fisherman Hung Shih-chen’s family and send the apology at a news conference.
“I have been authorised by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to personally convey the President and the Filipino people’s deep regret and apology to the family of Mr. Hung Shih-chen over the unfortunate loss of life of their beloved one,” Perez said.
An investigation ordered by Aquino III into the May 9 shooting in waters where the two sides’ exclusive economic zones overlap showed that the coast guard personnel were not in enough danger to justify firing on the fisherman’s boat.
Taiwanese officials said they were pleased with the investigation and would cancel sanctions they had imposed on Manila.
“I will cooperate with our Ministry of Foreign Affairs to closely watch the Philippines government’s movement and I have to know when the Filipino court will file homicide charges properly against the eight Filipino coast guard members,” said the victim’s daughter, Hung Tse-chen.
Those recommended to face homicide charges include the coast guard patrol’s commanding officer and seven of his men.
The apology sent by Perez is expected to ease tension between Taiwan and Philippines.
His visit comes one day after both Taiwan and the Philippines released their respective investigative reports.
Both governments urge charges of homicide against the eight coast guard officers found responsible for the fatal shooting.
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