Court of Appeals upholds Balintang Channel convictions
MANILA, Philippines — The Court of Appeals has upheld the 14-year prison term meted in 2019 on eight coast guardsmen for the death of a Taiwanese man caught fishing in Balintang Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines nine years ago.
In a decision dated Sept. 29, the Court of Appeals ruled that shooting at the Taiwanese vessel was not necessary because the resulting death of fisherman Hong Shi Cheng was not a consequence of due performance of duty.
The court sentenced Coast Guard Commander Arnold dela Cruz, Seaman Second Class Nicky Aurello, Petty Officer Second Class Richard Corpus, and Seamen First Class Edrando Aguila, Mhelvyn Bendo II, Andy Golfo, Sunny Masangkay, and Henry Solomon up to 14 years in prison and ordered them to pay P100,000 in damages.
The coast guardsmen found the Taiwanese fishing vessel poaching in the Balintang Channel and the coast guard fired on the vessel as it fled.
—DONA Z. PAZZIBUGAN
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