SLAIN TAIWANESE FISHERMAN'S FAMILY STILL DEMANDS PH GOVT'S APOLOGY
 


In this May 28 file photo, Taiwanese investigators rides a rubber boat as they inspect a ship involved in the alleged shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman while they continue their probe in Manila, Philippines. AP PHOTO/AARON FAVI


MANILA, July 9, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Camille Diola - OFW 'freeze hiring' in Taiwan continues......

The family of the Taiwanese fisherman, victim of a fatal shooting of by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel in Balintang Channel last May 9, is still demanding a public apology from the Philippine government.

Hung Tzu-chien, daughter of the slain fisherman Hung Shih-cheng, told China's Central News Agency last Sunday that the country's reconciliation with Taiwan should only come after it has apologized for the incident.

Although Hung said that several negotiators have approached the family to offer compensation and reconciliation, she is unsure whether they were sent by the Philippine government.

It has been a month since Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has handed the National Bureau of Investigation's report on the Balintang Channel incident to President Benigno Aquino III.

Related: NBI final report on Balintang shooting submitted to Pnoy

De Lima said that among the recommendations to Aquino on the report is to file criminal charges against involved PCG members, but there has been no response from Malacaņang since.

Taiwan's Deputy Agriculture Minister Hu Hsing-hua while expressing respect for the country's "administrative efficiency," said that he hopes the results of the investigation will be released by Manila.

"As long as the (Hung) family can accept the conditions offered by the Philippines, we are happy to see them settle the case," Hu said in a report.

The Taiwan government ordered a halt on the hiring of Filipinos in Taiwan on May 15, demanding that the Philippines be held accountable over the incident.

About 10,000 overseas Filipino workers, meanwhile, are expected to return home after their work permits have not been renewed as Taipei's "freeze hiring" scheme continued.

OFW Family Club party-list Rep. Roy Seņeres called the delays in the resolution of the diplomatic tension would further cost the country much needed jobs and remittances.

Related: Repair Philippines-Taiwan ties for OFWs -solon

Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou, meanwhile, said the labor sanctions against Filipinos will push through unless the formal apology from the government has been issued.

"We are waiting for a response from the Philippines. If there is a positive response, we definitely will lift the sanctions," Ma said, addressing Taiwanese military last June 26.

Ma also ordered that other economic and high-level exchanges with Manila be halted unless Taipei's conditions are met.

Hong Kong-based political analyst Philip Bowring, however, said that even with the apology granted by the Philippines, Taiwan will still ask for more.

"The reaction by the government in Taipei, with economic and other sanctions, is out of all proportion given that this unfortunate event was clearly the result of local misjudgment ... For (the Taiwanese), an apology from the president of the Philippines is not enough. The Filipinos must grovel, be reminded that they, like Malays generally, are the serfs of the region," Bowring said in his column.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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