Police mark the crime scene with yellow tape where two Chinese diplomats were killed in Cebu, Philippines on Wednesday.

Story highlights

NEW: The two suspects have diplomatic immunity, Philippine official says

NEW: They will be handed over to China to face the legal process there

Shooting happened after argument broke out among group eating lunch, police say

CNN  — 

Two Chinese diplomats are suspects in the shooting deaths of two of their colleagues at a restaurant in the Philippines, authorities said.

Gunshots rang out on Wednesday at a restaurant in Cebu City where a group of Chinese diplomats were having lunch, Col. Romeo Santander, superintendent of Cebu Police City Intelligence Branch told CNN.

Two employees of Cebu’s Chinese consulate were shot dead – a woman named Hui Li and a man named Sun Shen. Consul General Song Ronghua was wounded, Santander added.

Suspects have diplomatic immunity

Li Qingliang, 60, and his wife, Guo Jing, 57, were identified as the suspects in the shooting.

The Philippine Foreign Ministry said Thursday that they are both accredited Chinese diplomats who have diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention.

They will be handed over to China and will face the legal process there, said Charles Jose, a spokesman for the ministry. He didn’t say what diplomatic positions Li and Guo held.

Authorities found a .45-caliber pistol at the scene and are investigating the motive for the attack.

Santander said that closed-circuit TV video shows what appears to be an argument breaking out among the nine Chinese guests while hired singers were singing “Happy Birthday” in a private room at the restaurant.

The footage shows Li firing a gun and shooting Hui in the head, and his wife Guo taking the weapon from the table, he said.

Li and Guo fled the scene in a vehicle but were later arrested, three kilometers away at the consular office.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the case will be handled in accordance with “relevant international treaties and bilateral consular agreements.”

CNN’s Wayne Chang and Jethro Mullen, and journalist Arlene Espiritu contributed to this report.