Amid the intensifying harassment of Filipino workers in Taiwan, the government on Sunday said it was ready to bring the workers home.
Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) head Amadeo Perez Jr. said that President Benigno Aquino 3nd had already ordered the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to closely monitor the situation in Taiwan and start the repatriation if it is becomes necessary.
“We are always ready to repatriate our people. Besides, the President has ordered DFA that if it is needed, we are ready to repatriate our countrymen in Taiwan,” he told radio dzBB.
Perez reported cases of violence against and harassment of Filipinos by Taiwanese who wanted to retaliate for the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine Coast Guard two weeks ago.
He said at least two cases of harassment have been reported to Taiwan’s foreign affairs ministry and police for investigation.
The Filipinos suffered relatively minor injuries in both assaults, according to Perez, adding that his office continues to gather evidence on the cases.
Based on initial reports, a group of Taiwanese teenagers were targeting Filipino workers.
The first case involved a Filipino who was hit in the hand, while the second involved a Filipino worker who was hit with a bat in the face, Perez said.
Marisa Daclag de Guzman, an OFW in Taiwan, also said a dormitory in Taichung that houses at least 400 Filipinos was attacked by a group of Taiwanese on Saturday night.
“Only one Filipino was hurt and was brought to the hospital after suffering fractures in hand,” she said in a radio interview.
De Guzman also said that public buses and taxis refused to stop for Filipinos and that they were also barred from leaving the dormitory.
Perez said the Taiwanese people are angry not only at their government but at Filipinos because of the incident.
“Emotions are running very high in Taiwan,” he added.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO