In regards to our country granting the government of the Philippines 72 hours to respond over the May 9 shooting by the Philippine Coast Guard of the Taiwanese fishing boat, resulting in the death of a Taiwanese fisherman, Chair Su Tseng-chang reiterated on May 14 that the DPP fully supports President Ma’s Administration in demanding the Philippine government uncovers the real culprits, issue an apology, provide compensation and initiate negotiation over fishing rights.
Chair Su also appealed President Ma’s administration to strengthen sea rescue mechanisms, and pay closer attention to sea defenses since the defense budget has been severely cut in the recent years.
Chair Su said he believes that the Philippine Coast Guard unreasonably shot the Taiwanese fishing boat, killing a Taiwanese national. Upon first instance, he immediately issued, on behalf of the DPP, his support of President Ma on this issue.
“Even though we are an opposition party, but in this instance, our views towards the external world are one,” he said.
Chair Su said he wishes to offer suggestions to President Ma on how to deal with this kind of incident. He said that firstly, the government must strengthen normal sea rescue mechanisms because as seen in this case, the emergency response from the government was too late, and further reflection is needed in the regular training of sea rescue mechanisms. On the second suggestion, Chair Su said that in the recent years, the government has severely cut the national defense budget, leaving deficiencies in the normal activities of the navy and the coast guard. He lastly urged President Ma’s Administration to increase the budget for its maritime defense in order to guarantee the country’s national interests and to ensure our sovereignty.
Chair Su also appealed the government of the Philippines to immediately offer their explanations to Taiwan, using dialogue and peace to resolve this issue. He also urged the Philippine government to assume their responsibility over this incident in order to satisfy the collective interests of the people from both countries.
After the Central Standing Committee meeting on May 15, Chair Su said that the Philippines’ government response has left many in Taiwan very unsatisfied, especially over the lack of sincerity in its apology without offering specifics over compensation.
He said that he wanted to emphasize that the long-term relationship between the people of the Philippines and Taiwan have been very friendly and close, including trade, tourism and workers exchange. He appealed the people of Taiwan not to take any unfriendly actions towards Philippine nationals residing in Taiwan.
“However, when we deal with the government of the Philippines, we must stand strong in our demands because this incident was carried out by an official of the Philippine government, and we must ask them to offer an explanation so that the victim’s family and the rest of the Taiwanese people can have closure,” he said.