Philippines envoy calls for protocols on deportation of Taiwanese

Taipei, Philippines representative to Taiwan Angelito Banayo expressed Friday his willingness to work with Taiwan to develop protocols so that what he called the "regrettable" deportation of Taiwanese suspects to China will not occur again.

Banayo, who was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) so that Taiwan could lodge a strong protest over the deportation of 78 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China, met with the ministry's Winston Chen (???), director-general of the Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, to discuss the situation.

According to a MOFA statement, Chen told Banayo that Taiwanese suspects in the Philippines should be dealt with based upon agreements on criminal investigation and cross-border combating of crime that the two countries have previously signed.

This will avoid damaging the friendship and collaboration between Taiwan and the Philippines, the statement read.

In response to questions from CNA, Banayo, who is chairman and resident representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), said he has expressed his regret to Chen about the deportation but called it something that "had to happen, as a law enforcement issue against cybercrime."

With regard to future cases, however, Banayo is hopeful that MECO and its counterpart, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines, "will seek ways and means to develop protocols so that this regrettable incident... may be prevented..."

The 78 Taiwanese fraud suspects were among 158 individuals arrested in the Philippines Jan. 13 for alleged involvement in telecom frauds.

The Taiwanese suspects were deported to China April 4, where they will face trial.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel