MADRID, June 13 (Mabuhay) — Certain officials of the Philippine Coast Guard face raps for their alleged involvement in the May 9 shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman off the Balintang Channel.
This was the recommendation forwarded by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who in turn submitted the report to President Aquino.
De Lima is in Spain to attend the 5th World Congress Against Death Penalty. For the first time, de Lima faced the media after submitting to the President the findings and recommendation of the NBI.
While the Palace remains tight-lipped at this time, de Lima said the NBI recommended the filing of criminal charges against officials of the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
But she would not disclose yet the nature of the charges, and those accused.
“We are hopeful na kahit, halimbawa, hindi pareho ang conclusions o yung findings ay galangin ng isa’t-isa yung conclusion nila. Pero siguro naman kung hindi pareho, hindi nagkakalayo ang conclusions,” said De Lima.
Apart from the criminal aspects, de Lima bared that administrative cases will also be filed against other officials which could mean their removal from the service.
With the filing of charges, de Lima said the shooting incident could be interpreted as a security lapse or miscalculation on the rules of engagement.
But de Lima assured the public the findings of the NBI could not be a product of intimidation nor pressure from the Taiwanese probers who initiated a separate investigation.
Malacanang has yet to announce its action on the NBI recommendation.(MNS)