TAIPEI – Taiwan’s foreign ministry has dismissed the Philippine government’s call for the deportation of a Filipina worker critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou said that foreign workers enjoy the freedom of speech in the country and their rights and interests are being protected by the country’s laws and regulations.
“Taiwan is a sovereign, independent country where foreign workers enjoy ‘citizen treatment,’ and their rights and interests are protected by relevant laws and regulations, including freedom of speech, which should be respected by governments of all countries,” Joanne Ou said.
“No person or institution, in this case, has the right to pressure her, her employer, or broker, nor shall she be deported without consultations held between both governments,” she added.
Department of Labor and Employment has accused the Filipina worker of cyber libel saying that her posts against the Duterte intended to cause hatred amidst the global health crisis brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act grants the President special powers to address the COVID-19 pandemic such as penalizing those who create false information amid the
Taiwan urged the Philippines to follow “legal procedures” through bilateral judicial assistance channels if they believed the Filipina worker had violated Philippine law.
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