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Manila investigating shooting incident: official

Manila investigating shooting incident: official

Manila, May 14 (CNA) Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III has ordered an investigation into a May 9 shooting incident in which a Taiwanese fisherman was killed and the progress and results of the probe will be made public "at a proper time," a presidential spokesman said Tuesday. Edwin Lacierda did not name the agency that will be responsible for the probe but a senior official with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) told CNA that the bureau has received a directive from the justice minister to conduct a "parallel investigation." To ensure fairness of the full investigation, the NBI probe will be independent of any probes by other agencies, the official said on condition of anonymity. The Philippine Coast Guard said Saturday that it will conduct a joint investigation with the Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources to find out what happened on the morning of May 9, when a fishing boat from southern Taiwan was strafed by a Philippine Coast Guard surveillance vessel. Hung Shih-cheng, a 65-year-old fisherman, was fatally shot in the neck as he took cover in the cabin and the incident has caused an outcry and angry protests in Taiwan. Taiwan's government has made four demands, including a formal apology and compensation to the victim's family, and has given Manila until midnight Tuesday to respond. At a news briefing attended by several reporters from Taipei, Lacierda said the Philippines "values the people-to-people exchanges" between the two countries, and hopes to "avoid a situation that will exacerbate our relations" with Taiwan. He said that although his country's mid-term elections on Monday were important, the Philippine government has not neglected the incident. "Insofar as any response that we are going to issue, our position is that we would rather defer any comment,", Lacierda said during the briefing at Malacanang, the presidential palace. "If there will be a response, it will be handled through the proper channels and not through media," he said. Antonio I. Basilio, the Philippine representative to Taipei, is returning to Taiwan on Tuesday evening after consultations in Manila and is expected to convey his government's position to the Taiwan government later in the day. (By Emerson Lim and Jay Chen)


Updated : 2021-10-19 10:33 GMT+08:00