Press Release
May 19, 2013


Senator-elect Chiz Escudero called on the Department of Foreign Affairs to ensure the safety of Filipinos in Taiwan in the wake of protests over the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by members of the Philippine Coast Guard.

"The safety of all our countrymen in Taiwan is a matter of national interest. The DFA must do everything in its power to ensure their safety especially since tensions have been rising in Taiwan over this incident," Escudero said.

He expressed concern over rising tensions, and said the situation can easily deteriorate unless the DFA adopts "unique measures" to address the problem.

Escudero explained that the worsening rift between the Philippines and Taiwan is aggravated by diplomatic complications arising from the One China policy that the country adheres to, which recognizes Taiwan as a mere province of China.

"The situation is unique, and it requires a unique approach. But whatever it is, it will have to be decisive and it has to come soon. The issue is an emotional one, and situations like this can change from bad to worse in the blink of an eye," he said.

Escudero also pushed for a formal inquiry into the shooting, saying the family of the slain Taiwanese fisherman deserves no less.

"The only way to diffuse the situation is to convince the Taiwanese government that we are pursuing the path of justice earnestly. We should find out what happened, and what led to the unfortunate slaying of the fisherman. And then let's move on from there," he said.

Taipei had rejected the apology issued by Philippine Representative to Taiwan Antonio I. Basilio over the incident.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou said the statement of apology failed to satisfy the demands of his government. He then ordered a freeze on applications by Filipino laborers to work in Taiwan, recalled the Taiwanese representative in Manila, and requested the Philippine representative in Taiwan to return to Manila.

"We have to keep level-headed about the situation, seeing how emotional this issue has been for Taiwan. The most important consideration at this point is the safety of Filipinos in Taiwan," Escudero said.

News Latest News Feed