The Philippines on Friday refused to work with Taiwan officials in investigating a recent fishing boat incident where a Taiwanese fisherman was shot dead by the Philippine Coast Guard.

Taiwan may investigate in parallel, Leila de Lima, the secretary of the Department of Justice of the Philippines, said in a press conference on Thursday, but it may not question the Filipino citizens involved in the incident, according to China News.

On May 9, the Philippine Coast Guard fired on two Taiwanese fishing boats, and a Taiwanese fisherman was killed. The Filipino government has ordered a “thorough and swift” investigation. The 11 Coast Guard staffers and two people from the Fisheries Bureau involved in the incident have been suspended and are under investigation.

RTR2Y8QE (1) Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary Leila De Lima Photo: REUTERS/Noel Celis/Pool

On Wednesday, Taiwan officially asked the Philippines to conduct a joint investigation, de Lima confirmed, but said the Philippines will not agree to the request.

“The Philippines cannot prevent Taiwan from investigating the shooting incident, and Taiwan cannot prevent the Philippines from its investigation,” de Lima said. “Both parties can investigate in parallel.”

Regarding numerous Taiwanese personnel who have already arrived in Manilla, de Lima said that the Philippines will not allow these investigators to question those Filipino citizens involved in the incident, and stressed that this involves sovereignty, China News reported.