3 Taiwanese in shooting incident arrive in PH
MANILA -- Three Taiwanese witnesses have arrived in the country to testify in the Department of Justice probe on the charges that may be filed against Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel involved in the shooting of a colleague in Balintang channel last May.
Hong Yu Zhi, Hong Jie Zhang and Imam Buchaeri arrived on Sunday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, accompanied by officials from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Their lawyers refused to comment, saying they will first testify before the preliminary investigation scheduled at 2 p.m. on Monday.
The three were earlier classified as “offended parties and witnesses” in the case. They were the companions of victim Hung Shih-cheng.
“In the interest of substantial justice and procedural due process, we respectfully request the assistance of your good office to serve our attached subpoenas and notices to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines for the same office to serve them to the above-named persons in Taiwan,” a letter attached to the subpoenas read.
The NBI earlier recommended the filing of homicide charges against the personnel of the PCG.
“According to the NBI, while [the PCG commanding officer] considered the Taiwanese vessel a hostile watercraft when it started evading the PCG, this alone did not put the lives of the PCG at risk so as to justify the use of firearms. As a result, the NBI did not ‘conclusively infer from evidence gathered any justification for the use of deadly force,’” a statement from the NBI read.