Political decision

NOW it can be told.

The reason why the Philippine government has decided to deport the 14 Taiwanese suspected of committing fraud against Chinese nationals to China instead to Taipei was mainly political.

Although the decision earned the ire of the breakaway island, the country’s leadership has maintained its position and stood pat on turning over the
arrested suspects to Mainland China.

As a result, Taiwan has recalled its representative to the Philippines amidst great consternation as the move suggested that China — and not Taiwan itself —
has jurisdiction over the Taiwanese.

The move also meant that the almost 100,000 Filipino migrant workers now based in Taiwan face the danger of losing their jobs while those who are about to work there are having a hard time obtaining their visa.

In a statement Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry called the decision “inappropriate” and announced that it was canceling preferential visa treatment for Philippine nationals.

China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949. Beijing claims the democratic island as its own and rejects any notion that its de facto independence imbues
it with national sovereignty.

But it appears that the decision has backfired.

The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in Beijing has sustained the lower courts’ decisions on three Filipinos for drug trafficking and the death sentences will
be carried out, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) bared recently.

Yes, it is now safe to assume that Malacanang’s decision to turn-over the arrested Taiwanese has something to do with the case of these OFWs who are
facing the gallows in China.

It appeared that the SPC had reviewed and rendered its decision on five cases of Filipinos sentenced to death by courts in the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong for drug trafficking.

Two of the five Filipinos earlier meted the death penalty without reprieves were given two-year reprieves.

After a thorough and serious review process, the SPC sustained the lower courts’ decisions, and the death sentences will be carried out in accordance to Chinese law.

The death penalty will be carried out on three Filipino nationals: a male, 42 years old, who was convicted for smuggling 4,113 grams of heroin on Dec. 28,
2008, in Xiamen; a female, 32 years old, who was convicted for smuggling 4,110 grams of heroin on Dec. 24, 2008, in Xiamen; and a female, 38 years old, who was convicted for smuggling 6,800 grams of heroin on May 24, 2008, in Shenzhen.

“As the public is aware, the Philippine government has made sustained and exhaustive representations with the Chinese government at all levels to seek
mitigated sentences for all Filipinos on death penalty,” the statement read.

The operative words in that statement are sustained and exhaustive representations and that probably included the turning over of the 14 Taiwanese nationals.

The sad part is that it appeared that the move failed to appease the Chinese leaders and the execution of our country mates will proceed.

No matter what, I support the country’s decision to turn over the Taiwanese to the Chinese government.

At least, our leadership did something only it appears that it was not enough.-Bobby Ricohermoso


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