Philippines apologizes for Taiwanese fisherman's death

Featured South East Asia - May 15th, 2013
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The Philippines has expressed “deep regret and apology” after a Taiwanese fisherman was shot dead by coastguards in the South China Sea.

Manila on Wednesday formally apologized in a closed-door meeting between de facto Philippine ambassador to Taipei Antonio Basilio and Taiwan foreign minister David Lin, reports AFP.

The Philippine government said it will send Amadeo Perez Jr., the chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office that represents the Philippines’ interests in Taiwan, to convey his apologies and condolences to the family of Hung Shih-cheng, the 65-year-old fisherman killed when Philippine coastguards fired at their trawler on Thursday.

Taiwan issued an ultimatum to the Philippines to make an official apology by Tuesday, or face a freeze on sending Filipino workers to the island. Taipei also threatened to hold naval exercises near Philippine waters.

Hundreds of outraged fishermen burned Philippine flags and hurled eggs at Manila’s de facto embassy in Taipei.

The Philippine coastguard on Friday admitted the shooting, which left more than 50 bullet holes in the Taiwanese trawler, but insisted it happened within its own waters.