Taiwan lifts sanctions against Philippines after apology

Aug. 9, 2013 at 7:56 AM
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TAIPEI, Taiwan, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Taiwan officials said they lifted sanctions against the Philippines after Manila apologized for its Coast Guard's shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman.

Relations between the two countries broke down in May after Hong Shi-cheng, a suspected poacher, was fatally shot by the Philippine Coast Guard in the Balintang Channel in May.

Within 72 hours of the shooting death, Taiwan halted negotiations on a fisheries agreement with the Philippines and instituted 11 sanctions until Manila apologized for the killing, compensated the slain fisherman's family and agreed to prosecute those responsible for the death.

The Philippines' National Bureau of Investigation Wednesday recommended homicide charges be filed against eight Philippine Coast Guard personnel, who fired at the Taiwanese fisherman. Amadeo Perez, chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office also traveled to Taiwan to apologize to Shi-cheng's family on behalf of President Benigno Aquino III, the Philippine Star reported.

Taipei has lifted the 11 sanctions and said fisheries negotiations can now resume, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The sanctions included a travel advisory and grounded flights and frozen migrant labor of 88,000 Filipino workers, the Times said.

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