PH on Taiwan issue: 'We are moving heaven and earth'

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Chairman Amadeo Perez assured that the Philippines has been doing everything to protect overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Taiwan amid continuing tensions over slain Taiwanese fisherman.

In an interview with ANC’s Headstart on Tuesday, May 21, Perez’s reiterated that President Benigno Aquino III has instructed him to prioritize the protection and needs of Filipino workers in Taiwan.  He added that the incident has caused "so much" damage and tension to the 90,000 OFWs in Taiwan.

“We are moving heaven and earth to fix these things. There is only one at fault but thousands are suffering,” Perez said.

Perez’s statements came after reports of Filipino workers being harassed and attacked by locals in Taiwan. On Monday, Perez confirmed that there were 3 Filipinos who were attacked in Taiwan amid continuing tension between Manila and Taipei.

Perez also revealed the creation of a task force to check on the situation of Filipino workers in Taiwan.

“To the Filipinos in Taiwan, please don’t worry as there is a task force going around your area as ordered by the President Aquino,” Perez said.

'Good and kind'

Despite the "continued anger" over Filipinos in Taiwan, Perez said the Philippines has remained “good and kind” to Taiwanese staying in the Philippines. 

"You know, we have been very good. We have been very kind to Taiwanese,” Perez said adding that 30,000 successful Taiwanese businessmen are currently in the Philippines and are treated very well.

Perez said that the bad image being portrayed about the Filipinos has often been coming from the Taiwanese media. He added that the Taiwanese media played a major role in criticizing the Taiwanese President to impose sanctions to the Philippines.

Perez also disclosed that since 2010, more than 800 Taiwanese, holding a Taiwanese passport, have been deported from the Philippines after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested them for being involved in cybercrimes.

Investigation almost complete

Meanwhile, President Aquino said on Tuesday that the Prime Minister of Taiwan, through Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has reported that Taiwanese government will help protect Filipino workers in Taiwan.

“It was reported to me that the Prime Minister of Taiwan and their Minister of Foreign Affairs [have issued statements] not to hurt Filipinos in Taiwan and to prosecute anyone that will do so to our countrymen,” Aquino said.

Aquino added that Philippine probers through the NBI and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima have almost finished its investigation except for the physical examination of the subject boat.

“We are just waiting for the team to go there to inspect mutually this boat, to complete the thorough investigation,” Aquino said. – Rappler.com