A MANILA trial court has convicted eight Filipino coast guards who shot and killed a Taiwanese fisherman in Batanes in 2013.

The Coast Guard men were sentenced to eight years to 14 years and eight months in jail for homicide, according to a copy of a decision dated Sept. 4 but released only yesterday.

Convicted were Philippine Coast Guard Commander Arnold Enriquez dela Cruz, seamen Edrando Quiapo Aguila, Mhelvin Aguilar Bendo II, Andy Gibb Ronario Golfo, Sunny Galang Masangcay, Henry Baco Solomon, Nicky Renold Aurello, and petty officer Richard Fernandez Corpuz.

The court said the coast guards, who claimed they shot Taiwanese fishermen in Philippine-protected waters in self-defense, committed homicide because there was no intent to kill.

The coast guards shot Taiwanese Hong Shi Cheng in the neck after giving warning shots when they caught Taiwanese fishermen illegally fishing near Balintang Island in Batanes province in northern Philippines in 2013.

While there was no intent to kill, Mr. Hong died without legal justification, the court said.

The court also ordered the convicts to jointly pay the victim’s benefactors P50,000 as civil indemnity and P50,000 in moral damages. — Gillian M. Cortez