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De Lima to Taiwan probers: Hold it, you can’t just come over to Manila

/ 07:09 PM May 16, 2013

MANILA, Philippines—The Taiwanese government cannot just send investigators to the Philippines, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said Thursday.

“They have to course through proper channels. They have to make an official request,” De Lima said pointing that the investigators should have coordinated with the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO).

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“They cannot just come over,” she said.

An S70-C helicopter takes off from the stern of a Taiwanese Lafayette frigate during exercises off the southern city of Kaohsiung,Taiwan Thursday, May 16, 2013. Taiwan staged a previously scheduled military exercise in the Bashi Strait Thursday, after the United States on Wednesday expressed concern about increasing tensions between the Philippines and Taiwan, following the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippines coast guard personnel. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

De Lima issued the statement following reports that a 14-man investigation team from Taiwan arrived in the country to investigate the death of Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-Cheng. The fisherman was allegedly shot last May 9 in the Bashi Strait off the northern Philippines.

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This is not the first time that the Philippines had a diplomatic row with Taiwan.

In 2011, overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan were put at risk after Taiwan protested over the Philippines’ deportation of 14 of its nationals to China.

The Taiwanese nationals were arrested in crack down raids in Makati, Paranaque, Muntinlupa and Quezon City. They are allegedly victimizing residents of the Chinese mainland in a modus operandi using internet and other telecommunication devices to access their victims and exact money from them. The NBI said the group netted some US$20.6-million.

However, the DOJ, a month after deporting the Taiwanese nationals dismissed the criminal case filed against them and 10 others which was filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

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TAGS: Features, Global Nation, Manila Economic and Cultural Office, Taiwan-Philippines diplomatic tension, Taiwanese Fisherman
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