Coast Guard official maintains innocence over Taiwanese fisherman's death

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

AN OFFICIAL of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) pleaded not guilty on Monday in the homicide case involving the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman off the coast of Batanes in May last year.

PCG Commanding Officer Arnold dela Cruz entered his plea in an arraignment at the Batanes Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 13, said Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera.

Seaman Second Class Nicky Aurello, Seamen First Class Edrando Aguila, Mhelvyn Bendo III, Andy Gibb Glofo, Sunny Masangkay and Henry Solomon and Petty Officer 2 Richard Corpuz, however, were not arraigned on the same charges because the Department of Justice (DOJ) has yet to resolve their petition seeking to overturn its resolution finding probable cause for homicide.

They also have a pending petition for transfer of trial venue (from Batanes to Manila) before the Supreme Court (SC).

Fisherman Hung shih-cheng was accidentally killed by the PCG men who were chasing the Taiwanese boat for alleged poaching in the Balintang Channel on May 9, 2013.

Manila and Taipei had a brief tension following the incident as the Taiwanese government suspended educational and economic exchanges and blocked the renewal of contracts of more than 6,000 Filipinos working in the island nation's manufacturing and service companies.

The sanctions were only lifted after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed complaints at the DOJ in August last year. (Sunnex)

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