Honduran Ambassador Rafael Fernando Sierra Quesada yesterday rejected claims that he was involved in a hit-and-run collision with a teenager riding a scooter early on Sunday morning, saying that he did not call the police “in good faith.”
Sierra told a news conference at the embassy yesterday that at that time he wanted to help the teen, who seemed afraid and nervous.
“In my mind, I thought he already knew that it was his fault,” Sierra said. “I should have called the police. I recognize that it was a mistake [that I did not].”
Sierra said he knew the driver was young, but did not know his age and “situation.”
“I told him: ‘Do not worry. I would not prosecute you. I would not sue you. We will figure out something,’” Sierra said.
Sierra was accused of committing a hit-and-run after the 15-year-old’s mother, surnamed Kuo (郭), on Monday posted a photograph of Sierra’s business card on Facebook, with messages saying that Sierra left his business card with her son and left the scene of the accident.
There is “a big, big difference” between what had happened and what the boy’s mother described, Sierra said.
“I stayed with the boy until his father arrived. I did not ‘throw’ my card,” Sierra said. “I gave them my card so they can feel secure because there is my name on it and where they can find me. I did not want them to feel that it was a runaway. That is why I gave them my card.”
Sierra said he stayed at the scene of the accident for 40 minutes, until the boy’s father came to make sure the teen was not seriously injured.
On Facebook, the teen’s mother said: “[Do you think] we Taiwanese are easily bullied?”
“It is not important how much [we would be] compensated ... what we want is justice,” she added.
The post was removed on Monday night.
The embassy said it reported the collision to the police at 5pm on Monday, after an insurance company said it needed the collision evaluation report from the police to address its payment claim.
The incident occurred at about 6am in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水), when police said Sierra’s vehicle — proceeding straight — and a scooter that was making a left turn collided.
After an initial investigation, the teen was issued two tickets on Monday, police said.
The teen lacks a motorcycle driver’s license and he did not make a two-stage left turn at the intersection, as required by traffic rules, police said.
The boy received some bruises on his back and legs in the collision.
Kuo on Monday told reporters that the family would take responsibility for the traffic violations because the driver is her son, but she also wished that the embassy would not dodge responsibility for the accident.
She did not make further comments yesterday.
Sierra also made a statement to the police yesterday at the embassy.
Additional reporting by Huang Chieh
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a