President Benigno Aquino 3rd called for calm a day after Taiwan issued an ultimatum and threatened to impose sanctions against the Philippines over the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman.
President Aquino was silent on the issuance of a three-day ultimatum, saying the issue should be handled by diplomats.
“Our Department of Foreign Affairs is in touch with their counterparts precisely not let the incident have repercussions not wanted by any sector,” he told reporters.
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou earlier warned that his government may consider sanctions against the Philippines. He demanded that Manila apologize, pay compensation to the victim and punish the people behind the fisherman’s death.
Aquino said the commander of the Coast Guard vessel involved in the incident is being investigated.
“There was a death. Ire-review kung tama ang lahat ng naging proseso [We will review if all the processes were correct],” he added.
“So, I think, it is in the interest of both parties to proceed on a calm basis. We are proceeding on that manner,” he said.
Aquino said the DFA is monitoring the situation through the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO).
“I asked the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to monitor but the lead person has to be MECO because of the One China policy,” he added.
Angry Taiwanese fishermen burned Filipino flags in protest Monday.
Hundreds of fishermen wearing yellow headbands and chanting “Justice must be done!” and “Killer must be punished!” hurled eggs at the Philippine de facto embassy in Taipei, which was guarded by dozens of police.
Catherine S. Valente With AFP