Taipei, May 22 (CNA) Taiwan's top fishery official reiterated Wednesday that previously demanded fishery talks with the Philippines will be held only after Manila offers a formal apology, brings to justice the killers of the Taiwanese fisherman shot by the Philippine coast guard May 9 and compensates the victim's family.
James Sha, director-general of the Fisheries Agency under the Council of Agriculture, said the agency might also host an international news conference to provide further evidence that the Philippines "has been lying" over the shooting.
Sha was referring to claims in the Philippine media that the Taiwanese boat was poaching in Philippine territorial waters and had turned off its voyage data recorder (VDR).
The agency published the vessel's VDR record a day earlier, refuting the Philippine claims. The data transcribed from the VDR shows that the fishing boat, the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28, was at Taiwan's southernmost territorial line at around latitude 20 degrees north, and that the VDR data was being updated every three minutes.
The latitude 20 degrees north location is around 40 to 50 nautical miles from the closest land in the Philippines, which proves that the boat was not in Philippine territorial waters when it was attacked, according to Sha. Sha said he will advise top-level officials to host an international news conference to present the recorder data and related evidence.
In addition, he demanded that the Philippine government publish video footage shot by the attacking Filipino vessel to clarify the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Fishery talks will begin only if the Philippine government takes full responsibility by apologizing formally, offering compensation and punishing the government personnel who killed 65-year-old Hung Shih-cheng, he said. (By Yang Shu-ming and Maia Huang)