TAIPEI-MANILA ROW: MOFA launches media liaison to handle Manila spat

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Mon, May 20, 2013 - Page 2

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday announced that it has set up a Foreign Press Liaison for the Fishing Boat Incident following widespread dissatisfaction with the government’s ability to explain to the international community the circumstances of the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard personnel.

The press liaison became operational yesterday, and will serve as a central body for the government to release responses to the latest developments regarding the incident to international media outlets, while providing foreign media agencies access to information for reporting on the case, the ministry said.

As investigations into the circumstances leading to the shooting are still being carried out, Taiwan was reported as being unable to justify enacting a slew of sanctions against Manila and staging a military drill in disputed waters after Philippine President Benigno Aquino III apologized for the incident through his personal envoy.

The press liaison may hold daily international press conferences, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, officials from the ministry and the Council of Labor Affairs yesterday visited Filipino migrant workers at two Catholic churches in Taipei to assure them that the government will protect their rights and interests in Taiwan, the ministry said.