The Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 15 has found eight members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) guilty in the death of Taiwanese fisherman Hong Shi Cheng off Batanes in 2013.
Found guilty were Commanding Officer Arnold Dela Cruz, Seaman 1st Class (SN1) Edrando Aguila, SN1 Mhelvin Bendo II, SN1 Andy Gibb Golfo, SN1 Sonny Masangcay, SN1 Henry Solomon, SN1 Richard Corpuz and Seaman 2nd Class Nicky Renold Aurelio.
The incident strained the relationship between Taiwan and the Philippines.As a result of the incident, the Taiwanese government has stopped the issuance of visas to Filipinos workers seeking jobs in Taiwan.
The Philippines sent a representative and delivered the government’s official letter of apology to soothe the strained relations.
The PCG in 2013 said its personnel acted in self defense when it opened fire at Taiwanese fishing vessel Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 in the Balintang Channel off Batanes.
The vessel, then carrying three Taiwanese and one Indonesian as crew, allegedly tried to ram the PCG patrol boat.
The Taiwanese camp, however, claimed that their ship “came under attack” and that Philippine officers opened fire without any warning.