Taiwan beefs up patrols in waters near Philippines

Taiwan Sunday dispatched four coastguard and naval vessels to beef up patrols in waters near the Philippines following public outrage over the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Filipino coastguards.

"The government is determined to protect our fishermen," cabinet spokeswoman Cheng Li-wen said in a statement as a Lafayette-class naval frigate and coastguard vessels set sail for the area where the 65-year-old Taiwanese fisherman was killed Thursday.

The move came shortly after authorities issued a strongly-worded statement late Saturday night demanding Manila apologise to Taiwan and compensate the family of the dead man.

In its statement, Taiwan also asked the Philippine authorities to bring to justice the coastguards responsible and start negotiating with Taipei on a proposed fishery agreement.

"If the Filipino government fails to respond in a positive manner within 72 hours, the hiring of Philippine workers will be frozen," presidential office spokeswoman Lee Chia-fei warned.

Hung Shih-cheng, the skipper of the 15-tonne "Kuang Ta Hsin No 28", was killed during the incident, which also left the boat riddled with more than 50 bullet holes.

"This is nothing but a slaughter," prosecutor Liu Chia-kai told reporters after examining the ship.

In Manila, Abigail Valte, a spokeswoman for Philippine President Benigno Aquino, told a government radio station Saturday that authorities had launched a "transparent and impartial investigation" into the incident.

She expressed hopes that economic ties with Taipei would not be affected and added that the coastguard crew involved in the incident had been temporarily suspended to ensure a fair probe.

Taiwan's government has come under pressure from the opposition and the media to take action, with the Philippines refusing to apologise and saying the coastguard was tackling illegal fishing.

Philippine coastguard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said Friday the incident took place in Philippine waters and the crew had been carrying out their duties to stop illegal fishing.

"If somebody died, they deserve our sympathy but not an apology," Balilo told reporters.

The victim's son, who was with his father and two other sailors on the boat when the shooting took place, has insisted they did not cross into Philippine waters.

  • 2015 Dodge Charger goes under the knife 1 hour 10 minutes ago
    2015 Dodge Charger goes under the knife

    Over the past decade, Chrysler's rear-wheel-drive sedans have managed to survive a bankruptcy and three different corporate overlords. Thanks to the original stoutness of the Mercedes-assisted chassis, and the periodic updates that keep them from seeming like 21st-century versions of the Ford Crown Victoria, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger combo still draw in fans. Today, Dodge revealed yet another redesign for the 2015 Charger — and for an old car, it's quite the change.

  • Thursday #sgroundup: Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers 1 hour 10 minutes ago
    Thursday #sgroundup: Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers

    Here are the top trending stories of today in case you missed them:

  • 2015 Nissan Murano aims for the style-forward crowd 15 hours ago
    2015 Nissan Murano aims for the style-forward crowd

    Nissan says its 2015 Murano crossover, only the second major revamp of the car since it debuted in 2003, draws its design cues from the “age of future space flight.” That’s probably taking it a little far, but the new Murano, based off the 2013 Resonance concept vehicle, is an exceptionally lovely machine, all fluid, curved metal on the outside, and flowing, soft-touch materials on the inside. Certain kinds of comfort and charms that were unheard-of outside of premium vehicles five years ago have definitely trickled down, and reached a kind of design apotheosis with this car.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge...

  • Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes
    Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

    By Narae Kim JINDO South Korea (Reuters) - More than 280 people, many of them students from the same high school, were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea on Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years. It was not immediately clear why the Sewol ferry listed heavily on to its side and capsized in apparently calm conditions off South Korea's southwest coast, but some survivors spoke of a loud noise prior to the disaster.

  • StarHub 4G users to be charged from June as promo ends
    StarHub 4G users to be charged from June as promo ends

    Are you on the 4G or LTE mobile data network under StarHub? If so, you’ll have to start paying for the service.