Two Chinese diplomats, who were accused of a gun attack in the Philippines Wednesday that killed two of their colleagues and inured one person, were sent back to their home country to face trial for the attack, Philippine authorities said, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). The positions held by the two suspects at the consulate was unclear.
"They (the suspects) already left last night, direct flight from Cebu (city in the Philippines to Xiamen (a city in China’s southeast coast)," a spokesman for the Philippine foreign ministry, Charles Jose, told AFP, adding: “They will be prosecuted in China."
News reports on Wednesday, citing police officials, said that a personal financial dispute led to the shooting. The suspects were identified as Li Qing Liang, the gunman, and Guo Jing, his wife. They invoked diplomatic immunity after their arrest, International Business Times reported Wednesday.
The provincial police chief for the city of Cebu, Tom Banas, told AFP that the suspects were handed over to the Philippine foreign ministry Friday. "I was informed they have already been flown out to China," Banas said, according to AFP.
The group had reportedly gathered in a private room at a restaurant, named Lighthouse, to celebrate the birthday of Song Ronghua, China’s consul general for Cebu. Song was shot in the neck during the attack, but he survived the injury. However, two of his colleagues -- identified as Sun Shan, the deputy consul general, and Hui Li, a finance officer -- died. The suspects were reportedly identified through security camera footage.
Following the attack, officers retrieved a semi-automatic .45 Colt pistol and three bullet shells from the site of the attack, Channel News Asia reported Wednesday, citing agencies. Police officials reportedly said, after the attack, that the couple did not show any resistance during the arrests.