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Philippines apologises to Taiwan over fisherman's death

Published on May 15, 2013 6:15 AM
Two people hold protest signs at the Philippine de facto embassy in Taipei during a demonstration on May 13, 2013 against the shooting to death of a local fisherman by Philippine coastguards. -- PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI (AFP) - The Philippines on Wednesday apologised to Taiwan after coastguards shot dead a Taiwanese fisherman sparking tensions that saw Taipei threaten a naval exercise near Philippine waters.

Taiwan foreign minister David Lin told reporters that "the Philippines has voiced deep regret and apology for the incident" after a closed-door meeting with Antonio Basilio, the de facto Philippine ambassador to Taipei.

The Philippine government will send a special envoy to Taiwan to convey his apologies and condolences to the family of 65-year-old fisherman Hung Shih-cheng, who was shot dead on Thursday, Basilio said.

"Chairman (Amadeo) Perez will repeat his deep regret and apology from the people of the Philippines to the people of Taiwan and the family of Mr. Hung for the grief and suffering from his death," Basilio said, adding that the Philippines would provide "financial assistance" to the victim's family.

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