Legislature reiterates condemnation of Philippines' shooting

Taipei, May 17 (CNA) Legislators across party lines reiterated Friday their condemnation of the Philippines over the fatal May 9 shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman, but urged Taiwanese nationals to treat Filipinos in Taiwan rationally. Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng read the statement on behalf of all legislators, who rebutted a Philippines' claim that the death of the fisherman, 65-year-old Hung Shih-cheng, was an "unintended" incident. A Philippine government vessel strafed an unarmed Taiwanese fishing boat, the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28, with automatic weapons, killing Hung and leaving more than 50 bullet holes in the boat, which was fishing in the two countries' overlapping waters. The Philippine vessel's action "was a severe violation of international law and the international law of the sea," the legislators said. In the statement, the legislators demanded that the Philippines take full responsibility and meet four Taiwanese demands -- an official apology, compensation for Hung's family, a thorough investigation and punishment for those involved, and fishery talks with Taiwan. The Philippine government should conduct a joint investigation with Taiwan in accordance with the spirit and regulations of the legal assistance pact that Taiwan and the Philippines signed in April, they said. The Legislature said it fully supports the Cabinet's sanctions against the Philippines and the government's reinforced patrols south of Taiwan to protect Taiwanese fishing boats operating in the region. Finally, the Legislature urged Taiwanese nationals to remain calm and rational when interacting with Filipinos in Taiwan, following several reported cases of Filipino workers being attacked by Taiwanese. (By Chen Shun-hsieh and Jamie Wang)