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Philippine gov't sends condolences to family of Taiwanese fisherman killed by its coast guard


08:33, May 13, 2013

MANILA, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Abigail Valte on Sunday extended sincere sympathies and condolences to the family of the fisherman from China's Taiwan region who was killed by men from the Philippine Coast Guard Thursday.

She said in a statement on Sunday, "As the Philippine Coast Guard has stated, we express our heartfelt sorrow on the unfortunate situation that occurred during one of the anti-illegal fishing patrols conducted by a Philippine fishery law enforcement vessel (MCS 3001) within the maritime jurisdiction (waters off the Batanes group of islands) of the Philippines on the morning of May 9, which tragically resulted in the death of a fisherman from one of the fishing vessels reportedly poaching in the area."

"We extend our sincere and deepest sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of the victim," she added.

But, she failed to make an apology as requested by officials and people from Taiwan. Moreover, Valte described the killing of Taiwan fisherman happened in Philippine territorial waters. But Taiwan coast guard authority said the shooting happened at 164 nautical miles southeast of the southernmost tip of Taiwan.

She added that Resident Representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan Antonio Basilio has visited the family of the victim and extended condolences and offered his apologies.

Asked if the apology is an acknowledgment that the Philippines authorities made a mistake, Valte said at a news briefing that it was more of an "expression of heartfelt sorrow at the unfortunate incident," stressing that investigations are ongoing and it would be better to wait for the results of the probe.

Valte said the Philippine Coast Guard investigation started with the recall and relief of the commander and crew of the MCS 3001.

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