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8 PCG personnel face homicide raps.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday filed homicide charges against eight personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) over the Balintang Channel shooting on May 9 last year.

The National Prosecution Service (NPS) said in a resolution that it found probable cause to charge the following PCG personnel for Homicide under Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code:

Commanding Officer Arnold Enriquez dela Cruz

Seaman 1st Class (Sn1) Edrando Quiapo Aguila

Seaman 1st Class (Sn1) Mhelvin Aguilar Bendo II

Seaman 1st Class (Sn1) Andy Gibb Ronario Golfo

Seaman 1st Class (Sn1) Sunny Galang Masangcay

Seaman 1st Class (Sn1) Henry Baco Solomon

Seaman 2nd Class (Sn2) Nicky Renold D. Aurello

Petty Officer 2 Richard Fernandez Corpuz

According to the resolution, "the respondents all acted in unison with the common purpose of firing at the Guang Da Xing No. 28 to force it to submit to MCS-3001's inspection or else."

It also noted that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has established that there was an act of conspiracy.

"That they all acted with that common purpose is crystal clear. When there is conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all," it said.

Aside from the homicide charges, the panel also found "probable cause" to charge Commanding Officer Dela Cruz and Seaman 1st Class (SN1) Bendo for Obstruction of Justice which is under Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 1829 for allegedly preparing and submitting a falsified Monthly Gunner Report dated May 11, 2013.

Meanwhile, the other charge of Obstruction of Justice against dela Cruz, Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) Martin Larin Bernabe , SN1 Ramirez , and SN1 Bendo, in connection with the deletion of video clips from the SD Cards and Compact Discs submitted to the NBI has already been dismissed.

The DOJ will file the homicide charges in the Regional Trial Court of Batanes while the obstruction of justice charges will be filed before the Municipal Trial Court of Cagayan.

On May 9, a coast guard shot a Taiwanese fisherman due to illegal fishing. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou immediately raised sanction in the Philippines and demanded for an apology. (Mary Rose A. Hogaza)


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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Mar 18, 2014
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