DOJ to Taiwan: ‘You just can’t come here'
MANILA, Philippines- Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday, May 16, said the Taiwanese government could not just send investigators to the Philippines for the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman last week.
De Lima said that Taiwan has to go through “proper channels” and make an “official request” to the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) before conducting any investigation in the Philippines.
“They just can’t come over here,” De Lima said.
Secretary De Lima explained that without any request from Taiwan, it would be the government’s “obligation” to investigate the killing through an independent body such as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). She added that the NBI has been conducting its own investigation, which should not be subject to any interference.
De Lima also added that it would be “impossible” to conduct a joint investigation with Taiwan as the Philippines “is a sovereign country” which has its own process and justice system.
De Lima’s statements came after a team of investigators from Taiwan arrived in Manila on Thursday morning to conduct an investigation over the killing of a 65-year-old fisherman.
The Philippine Coast Guard admitted last week that they shot dead a Taiwanese 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, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda 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 also explained that reports of Filipino workers being harassed in Taiwan were "isolated" incidents, which do not necessarily reflect how the Taiwanese regard Filipinos. Lacierda 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