Jun 032013


Justice Secretary Leila De Lima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on Monday maintained that the shooting of the Taiwanese fisherman last May 9 happened inside Philippine jurisdiction.

“Our jurisdiction is clear—the incident happened inside our territory which is why we are conducting an investigation,” De Lima told reporters in an interview Monday.

Based on the global positioning system record of the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, De Lima said the incident occurred within the Balintang Channel, 43 nautical miles east of Balintang Island which is well within the Philippine territory.

“Probably you should ask the Taiwanese government why they are conducting their own investigation. They probably have extra-territorial jurisdiction like if the victim is a Taiwanese or the vessel is registered under the Taiwanese name,” she said.

The NBI investigators already arrived from Taiwan and are already wrapping up their investigation.

On the other hand, Taiwanese probers also finished their probe after inspecting the Philippine vessel, watching the video of the incident and interviewing the Coast Guard officers who were present during the incident.

The question of jurisdiction will be crucial to where the criminally liable parties in the case will be tried.

The fisherman’s daughter, Hung Tzu Chien, has already filed a murder complaint against Filipino Coast Guard personnel involved in the fatal shooting. She did not name the respondents in the charges filed with the Pingtung prosecutor’s office pending completion of Taipei authority’s probe in Manila.

Taiwanese officials were also quoted earlier saying they expect nothing less than findings of criminal liability against the PCG personnel.

But De Lima said there should be no speculation about the outcome of the probe.

“We should not speculate. We should wait for the report [of the NBI]. The video will also be part of the report, what exactly is shown in the video and how it impacts on the conclusion,” she said.

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Tags: Features , fishing dispute , Global Nation , Philippine-Taiwan tension , Taiwan fishing boat shooting

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