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Taipei, Manila continue negotiation over shooting probe

Taipei, Manila continue negotiation over shooting probe

Taipei, May 23 (CNA) Taiwan and the Philippines are continuing to negotiate over cooperation on an investigation into the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman by a Philippine government vessel, officials said Thursday, two weeks after the May 9 incident. Both sides are still negotiating on how they will work together to get to the bottom of the shooting, including listing requests by the two parties for evidence relating to the incident and when investigators from each side will visit each other's country, said Benjamin Ho, director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. "We hope that our investigation team will be able to visit (the Philippines) first," given that it was a Taiwanese fisherman who was killed in the shooting, Ho told the local media. Officials from both sides' justice departments are continuing to negotiate the details of the cooperation, said ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao. Meanwhile, the ministry will continue to ensure a safe and friendly environment for Filipinos working and living in Taiwan, she added. Taiwan and the Philippines have been engaged in a diplomatic tussle since a joint patrol of the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources shot up the Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28 while it was operating in the overlapping economic zones of the two countries May 9. There are concerns that anti-Philippine sentiment in Taiwan over the attack and the perception that Manila has not been forthcoming or sincere in responding to it could lead to discrimination or even attacks against the roughly 87,000 Filipinos working in Taiwan. Both sides have agreed to requests of mutual legal assistance from each side, but have not yet ironed out some differences on investigating the shooting, Taiwan's Ministry of Justice said. For example, the Philippines have yet to respond to a request that Taiwanese investigators be given access to a video recording of the incident taken by the Philippine patrol boat that carried out the shooting and be permitted to interview the Filipino officers aboard the ship, the ministry said a day earlier. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-01-25 13:55 GMT+08:00