On Tuesday, September 8, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Taiwan was sentenced to life imprisonment for rampaging on a fishing vessel, resulting in the death of eight crew members.
A Pingtung District Court in Taiwan handed the verdict on Aurelio Arafiles Fronda of life imprisonment after he was found guilty of homicide, attempted murder, and abandonment of a body. Fronda was the chief officer on the ill-fated Wen Peng longliner.
Pinoy Fisherman in Taiwan Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Death of 8 Fishing Crew Members
The crime took place on February 20, 2019, at around 3 AM. The fishing vessel was located 1,540 nautical miles from Port Louis, Mauritius. A fight broke out when the chief officer mangled two of his crew to death in a disciplinary action dispute, the Taiwan News reported.
A total of 24 crew members were on board composed of three Taiwanese, 10 Filipinos, and 11 Indonesians. Six reportedly jumped overboard to escape Fronda’s killing spree.
Upon receiving a radio distress call, the Taiwanese Coast Guard responded to the signal from the ship.
On March 2, the Taiwanese Coast Guard were able to locate the ship and arrested the chief officer on the spot.
Some of the crew members who jumped off the ship, including another Filipino fisherman at the height Fronda’s rage, were no longer found and were presumed to be dead.
During trial, prosecutors demanded a heavy sentence because the defendant did not show any remorse for the crime he committed.
They also noted that he cut off the nets that could’ve saved his fellow crew members in the water.
The OFW was reportedly suffering from schizophrenia, a form of mental disorder, and often has delusions of being persecuted.
They found out that the defendant thought his crew mates were envious of him and his salary, and this was the reason why he went on a rampage onboard.