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By Michael L. Tan
The numbers are almost incredible: An estimated 1.5 million Filipinos work in Saudi Arabia, 20,000 of them undocumented or irregular (the preferred terms to “illegal”). That’s equivalent to the total population of the city of Manila.
The recommended filing of homicide charges against the Coast Guard personnel involved in the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman in May may be unpopular with some Filipinos who insist that we must defend our defenders at all cost—an example of misguided nationalism that ignores our national interest in using international law to oppose Beijing’s territorial aggrandizement over our seas.
By Eduardo Climaco Tadem
The rapidly unfolding reconfiguration of societies in the world today has generated new and more nuanced ideas about international relations, state-citizen interactions, national identity and state sovereignty.
This letter is in response to the news article titled “Resolve tiff with Taiwan, gov’t urged” (News, Inquirer, 7/9/13). We agree with Rep. Roy Señeres: “[T]he Philippine government must stop its foot-dragging and resolve the Taiwan dispute immediately, lest OFWs suffer more permanent consequences” and that the Philippine presidential office should make public the (Philippine) [...]
This is in response to the news reports titled “PH, Taiwan on way to mending relations” (Page 1, 6/18/13) and “Beijing warns PH on talks with Taipei” (Page 1, 6/19/13).
In response to the labeling of the Republic of China (ROC or Taiwan) as a “noncountry” in the Inquirer’s June 20 editorial, we would like to ask the Inquirer this question: If the ROC is a “noncountry,” why would Filipinos need to apply for visas to travel to Taiwan?
After the outburst of public anger, amplified by official outrage orchestrated by an unpopular government, Taiwan is sounding less bellicose these days. Perhaps President Ma Ying-Jeou and his advisers think they have forced the Philippines into a corner. They would be wrong.
By Conrado de Quiros
The Philippines and Taiwan have agreed to avoid armed confrontations in dealing with fishing disputes. Henceforth, we will share maritime law enforcement, notifying each other posthaste whenever actions are taken against vessels and crews of one or the other.
By Neal H. Cruz
We were forwarded a letter from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco), which is Taiwan’s unofficial consulate in the Philippines, reacting to our column of May 27 (“Fish is at root of rows with Taiwan, China”) on the diplomatic row between the two countries. The row stemmed from the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman in a Taiwanese fishing vessel that, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), tried to ram its ship in the waters around the Batanes islands. In the letter, Teco denied that the Taiwanese are harassing overseas Filipino workers in their country.
I would like to make some important clarifications on the statements made by Amando Doronila in his May 29 column titled “Taiwanese fishermen provoked Coast Guard into firing.”
In the last several days, the exchange of angry recriminations over the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman in Philippine waters has given way to a flurry of bureaucratic activity—and the sound of government officials on both sides of the dispute working at something necessary is welcome.
By Rina Jimenez-David
In previous years, the observance of Philippine Independence Day usually involved the hosting of a program for overseas Filipino workers in Taipei and other cities hosting OFWs. There would usually be a formal reception to which Taiwanese officials, business people, and prominent Filipino residents were invited.