Militant groups on Wednesday picketed the office of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Makati City to call for an early resolution to the row stemming from the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters last May 9.
The militants, who gathered near the RCBC Tower where the MECO office is located, also voiced sympathies to the relatives of the slain fisherman, radio dzBB’s Mao dela Cruz reported.
No violent confrontation took place between the militants and police, the report said.
During their picket, the militants asked the Philippine and Taiwan governments to resolve their row soonest, and reminded Taiwan that overseas Filipino workers are not their enemy.
They also asked the Philippine government to take steps to protect OFWs in Taiwan.
Report: PHL ready to pay NT$1-M to Taiwanese fisherman’s kin
But MECO head Amadeo Perez Jr. told Taiwan’s Central News Agency it is still not clear at this time if the amount will be considered a “donation” or “compensation.”
Perez said the question of whether the amount will be a donation or compensation will depend on the outcome of an investigation into the matter.
“Whether the money will constitute compensation or a donation will be determined after the investigation into the fatal shooting is completed,” CNA quoted Perez as telling it.
Last Monday, Perez said in an interview on dzBB radio that Philippine and Taiwan businessmen had raised money to give to the family of slain fisherman Hung Shih-cheng, 65.
But he said they were told Hung’s family at the time refused to see them, and Taiwanese officials would not ensure their security if they insisted on visiting the family.
“‘Yung Taiwanese na narito hindi gusto ang pangyayaring ‘yan. Ang ibibigay naming tulong sana … sa pamilya. Hindi pera ng gobyerno o MECO kundi nanggaling sa Taiwanese businessmen at Filipino businessmen,” he said on dzBB at the time.
Taiwan had also demanded an apology from the Philippine government, compensation for Hung’s family, punishment of the guilty party, and talks on fishery cooperation.
Philippine and Taiwan investigators are conducting separate investigations into the incident, with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima indicating they are open to a parallel probe. —KG, GMA News