PH: No joint probe with Taiwan yet
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said on Thursday, May 16, that he has not yet received any approval for a joint investigation between the Philippines and Taiwan over the death of a Taiwanese fisherman in Philippine waters.
Lacierda's comments came after reports that a 30-member Taiwan investigation team arrived in Manila on Thursday morning.
“I’m not aware of any approval of any joint investigation. There is an existing MLA (Mutual Legal Assistance) and they have to go through protocols,” Lacierda explained.
Lacierda also said that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has not been made aware of the presence of the Taiwanese investigators.
The Philippine Coast Guards admitted last week that they shot dead a 65-year-old fisherman after his vessel illegally sailed into Philippine waters
The Philippine government, through the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), has already conveyed its sincere apologies over the tragic incident but the Taiwanese government still sanctioned and ban the hiring of new workers from the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Lacierda also confirmed that MECO chairperson Amadeo Perez already met Taiwan‘s Director-General Benjamin Ho of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey President Aquino’s apology for the “unfortunate” incident.
Lacierda said Perez conveyed the Philippine government’s readiness to give financial assistance to the family of the Taiwanese fisherman.
Lacierda also explained that reports of Filipino workers being harassed in Taiwan were "isolated" incidents, which do not necessarily reflect how the Taiwanese regard Filipinos. But Lacierda quickly appealed to the Taiwanese people “to refrain from hurting and making Filipino compatriots an instrument of their anger.”
“As the host for our Filipinos there, we would expect that they will be treated decently as we do treat their Taiwanese nationals here decently,” Lacierda said. – Rappler.com