Mon, May 13, 2013 - Page 1 News List

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TOUGH TALKING:President Ma visited the family of a fisherman shot dead on Thursday and said that Manila must offer an official apology and compensation

Staff writer, with CNA

“We extend our sincere and deepest sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of the victim,” Valte said.

The commander and crew of the MCS 3001 have been relieved of their duties, she said.

“The Philippine Coast Guard, together with other agencies, assures everyone that this investigation will be conducted in an impartial, transparent and expeditious manner,” Valte said.

The Philippines will look into ways of preventing similar incidents in the future, she said.

Reacting to the apology, Li said the Philippine government would pay the price if it continued to respond to the incident with “flippant remarks.”

“The Philippine government’s casual attitude toward the incident shows its insincerity in attempting to resolve the issue,” she said.

“We hope the Philippine government will face the issue with the respect and dignity the incident requires,” Li said.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has also been informed of the 72-hour ultimatum, a Philippine official said.

Amadeo Perez Jr, chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), which represents the Philippines’ interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties, said in Manila that he has informed Aquino about the Taiwanese government’s demands.

Perez declined to comment on the ultimatum, but said he has been sad since MECO Managing Director Antonio Basilio reported on his visit to Hung’s family.

Commenting on the threat of sanctions against the Philippines over the incident, a labor official said that suspending the importation of Philippine labor would adversely affect Taiwan’s high-tech industry.

The technology industry will bear the brunt of such a move because it relies mainly on Philippine workers, who tend to have a good command of English, to operate machinery, said Lin San-quei (林三貴), head of the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training.

The bureau put the number of Philippine workers in Taiwan at about 87,000, most of whom are working in the manufacturing sector, while the others are mainly domestic caregivers.

Lin said that Philippine workers’ strong command of English gives them options other than Taiwan when considering overseas work. Taiwan is not necessarily their first choice, he added.

Meanwhile, some Philippine workers in Taiwan said they were aware of the threats of sanctions. Others expressed sympathy for Hung’s family and said they favor an apology by the Philippines.

A Filipina who identified herself as Amor, 38, said that she and her compatriots usually work Monday to Saturday and did not know about the shooting incident. She said it would be unfair for Taiwan to freeze the importation of workers from country.

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