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Supreme Court upholds verdict for Filipino fisherman who killed eight

Aurelio Arafiles Fronda's life sentence is confirmed, he will be deported if granted parole

The Wen Peng (front), on which eight people were killed.

The Wen Peng (front), on which eight people were killed. (CNA photo)

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Taiwan's Supreme Court recently upheld a life sentence for a Filipino fisherman who killed eight people and injured another two on board a Taiwanese fishing vessel in 2019.

The ruling by the Supreme Court, which was handed down Wednesday (May 22), is final. The defendant, Aurelio Arafiles Fronda, will be deported if he is granted parole.

Fronda was convicted for homicide, attempted murder and abandonment of a body by the Pingtung District Court in southern Taiwan last September. He appealed the decision to the Taiwan High Court, but that court rejected the appeal in January.

According to the Supreme Court ruling, Fronda got into in a heated argument with several crew members on Feb. 20, 2019, when the Taiwanese longliner the Wen Peng (穩鵬號) was operating in the Indian Ocean near Mauritius.

He killed two Filipino crew members using fish knives and threw one of the bodies overboard, the court ruling said. He then chased the other crew members, forcing them to jump into the sea. Among them, six were never found and are presumed dead, while the others were rescued by a fishing boat nearby, it said.

The Wen Peng had a total of 24 crew members on the vessel at that time, made up of 11 Indonesian, 10 Filipinos and three Taiwanese. Fronda was arrested on March 2, 2019 on the fishing boat by Taiwan Coast Guard personnel, who sailed for more than 7,000 kilometers to where the ship was after receiving a distress call from the vessel.

Updated : 2021-06-21 13:15 GMT+08:00