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Philippines Apologizes to Taiwan for Fisherman Death

After arriving from the Philippines, Amadeo Perez, chairman of the Manila Economic and Culture Office (MECO) in Taiwan, right, apologizes to the family of a Taiwanese fisherman killed by Filipino coast guard officers in Pingtung, southern Taiwan, Aug. 8,
A Philippine envoy has offered an official apology to the family of a Taiwanese fisherman who was shot to death by Manila's coast guard in disputed waters three months ago.

In a televised address Thursday, Amadeo Perez offered an apology and "deep regret" on behalf of the Philippine president and people for the death of the 65-year-old fisherman.

Perez's visit to Taiwan comes after investigators in Manila recommended homicide charges be brought against eight Philippine coast guard members for killing Hung Shih-cheng.

The lead investigator said Wednesday that video of the incident did not support the coast guards' claim that they fired in self-defense after the small fishing boat tried to ram their patrol craft.

Taiwan, which reached the same conclusion in its own investigation, welcomed the Philippine investigators' conclusion. The foreign ministry in Taipei said it will now seek cancellation of sanctions imposed on Manila following the incident, including a ban on Filipinos working in Taiwan.

All eight coast guards fired on the fishing boat in the incident in May, which took place near the Philippines' northernmost islands. The 65-year-old man who died was one of four people on board.

The eight Filipino coast guards already face homicide charges in Taiwan, but it is unlikely they will be tried there. Taiwan's Deputy Justice Minister Chen Ming-tang called on the Philippine judicial system to prosecute and sentence the men to the fullest extent of the law.