TEDDY “BEAR” LOOK SIN
Taiwan governs independently of China, and the mainland has no influence on the sovereign island’s decision to reject the call for deportation of an anti-Duterte Filipina caregiver, Taipei’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
“My country expresses strong dissatisfaction and high regret over Philippine government officials wrongly accusing Taiwan as part of China,” the ministry’s spokeswoman Joanne Ou said in a statement.
“China has never ruled Taiwan for one day, and only the popularly elected Taiwan government can represent the country’s 23 million people internationally,” she added. “We solemnly call on the government officials of the Philippines to face up to the facts and stop misrepresenting Taiwan as a part of China.”
Taiwan has been independent since the 1950s, although Beijing calls it a breakaway province. Earlier in February, Taiwan had complained of being “wrongly included” in the government’s coronavirus-related travel ban, because the Philippines deemed it as part of China, although it said that it was never really part of the People’s Republic.
The rather public geography lesson was issued right after Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque earlier asserted that he is leaving it to Taipei and Beijing to decide the fate of Elaine Ordidor, the Taiwan-based Filipino who posted an anti-Duterte video rant on Facebook. Labor official Fidel Macauyag called for Ordidor’s deportation to Manila, a request that Taiwan had already rejected.
“We leave that [deportation] wholly to the decision of Taiwan and China. Taiwan is part of China,” Roque said verbatim in an interview with news show ANC News yesterday.
Spokeswoman Ou yesterday added that if the Philippine government insisted on Ordidor’s deportation, it should go through the legal process and submit a request through the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, an accord signed between Taiwan and the Philippines in 2013 which provides the basis on enforcing criminal laws, GMA News reports.
“We can negotiate with the Philippine government in accordance with relevant agreements,” Ou said.
Meanwhile, Senator Franklin Drilon urged the Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment yesterday to recall Macauyag, Manila’s attaché in Taiwan.
Drilon described Macauyag as “unfit, incompetent and totally unqualified” to protect the welfare of thousands of Filipino workers in Taiwan.
“A mere labor attaché requesting a sovereign country to deport a foreign worker over a social media post is stupidity at the highest level…When a protector becomes the persecutor, you can’t help but ask: is this the new normal?” Drilon said.
According to data from Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor, some 157,487 Filipinos are working in the republic as of December 2019.
This article, ‘Stop Misrepresenting’: Taiwan tells Roque China has no say on Filipina worker’s deportation, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!