• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 9:03am
NewsChina
MARITIME INCIDENT

Philippine envoys face sack over 'rogue' offer to Taipei

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 May, 2013, 1:07pm
 

Two Philippine envoys face dismissal after going "rogue" and bungling Manila's response to this month's shooting of Taiwanese fishermen by Philippine coastguards, sources say.

The pair tried to negotiate a deal with their Taiwanese counterparts in which the Philippine government would apologise for the May 9 incident in which one fisherman died. But the offer backfired and spiralled into a major diplomatic incident when Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou rejected it and imposed economic penalties.

A source close to Manila's internal discussions on the issue said the envoys had exceeded their authority when they initially offered Taiwan's foreign minister, David Lin, talks on a fisheries agreement. Such an offer had never been approved by their bosses in Manila, the source said, and embarrassingly had to be withdrawn in the deal ultimately presented to Ma.

The flip-flop, and the impression of reneging on the offer, outraged the Taiwanese.

"What they [initially] delivered [to the Taiwanese authorities] was not the agreed response," said one of the Philippine sources. The source was referring to Amadeo Perez Jnr, chairman and chief executive of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), and Antonio Basilio, managing director and resident representative of MECO Taiwan.

The source said both are about to lose their quasi-diplomatic jobs, although "they may not know it yet".

The first rule of proper relations is that officials can be relied on to uphold their principals' position and not go rogue

"The first rule of proper relations is that officials can be relied on to uphold their principals' position and not go rogue," the source added.

As proof of what Taiwan's foreign ministry called Manila's "dishonest" and "capricious" ways, it released four different versions of the offer all sent by MECO to Lin on May 14. The first letter offered to create a Filipino "inter-agency panel" to prevent future incidents, and to convene a meeting with a similar Taiwanese body to negotiate on fisheries.

But by the fourth letter the offer had been watered down, omitting the inter-agency panel and simply suggesting that "relevant agencies" try to convene with their counterparts. That final offer was rejected by Ma.

President Aquino's deputy spokesperson, Abigail Valte, said on Monday that only the fourth letter - which also told Taipei that Manila had already started its own probe into the event - was authorised for release by Aquino.

According to The Manila Times, David Chien of the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) said the offer Basilio ultimately delivered to Lin was "completely different" from the what had been worked out between MECO and TECO.

A senior diplomat said the first three letters seemed to be drafts.

Basilio yesterday defended his actions and said the drafts reflected a "sincere effort" by himself and the Foreign Minister to reach an agreement under severe time constraints.

He added: "Releasing these earlier versions is a breach of protocol and courtesy".

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This article is now closed to comments

ablewang
Taiwan had released satellite record to show the fishing boat was not in Philippine waters. “Since the Philippine authorities repeatedly alleged that the fishing boat had intruded into their waters, then why not make public the video records they claim they have taken from the coastguard boat?” Pinoy government is a liar, now looking for a new lie to cover up their earlier lies.
babyhenry
All phillipine knows is to call bully. yet if it wasnt for the real bully US holding this little wannbe thug up, this pathethic little thug can't even stand on its own.
I suppose they thought they can resort to the same tactic they used against China, since China bashing always get a crowd regardless of merit.
The filipino men in uniform is truly a cowradly bunch since all they can do is to shoot at unarmed fisherman, wanna bet they got the guts to shoot a Taiwanese coast guard boat? most likely they will back off and make up a story and yell bully, like every single time.
michael.yu.94214
So afterall, the Taiwanese suspecion that Philippines attitude on addressing the killing to be insincere is true.
While a vast international communities projects Taiwan as the bully, just as what Manila wants them to think.
All reports todate refer to the incident as fishing dispute, and it is clear now that Philippines never wanted to negotiate fishing rights with Taiwan. It is to Philippines advantage to keep the boundaries unclear so they may continue and justify their acts of piracy, a few lives lost holds no significants to them.
daily
I am starting to feel that the Filipinos are much more stupider than previously expected..........they have bungled this whole incident from the start............
michael.yu.94214
Your definition of civilize may be very different from others.
Taiwan = uncivilized
Because Taiwan asked for apology, compensation, punish the killer, joint-investigation and negotiate fishing rights.
Which part of the above do you think is uncivilized considering an innocent man died?
I would have thought that killing an innocent unarmed man, corruption, acts of piracy, holding boats for ransom, brutally handling the fishermen retained are more uncivilized in definition.
The Naval exercise you are referring to, Taiwan has already conducted last week, the main purpose of the exercise is to protect the Taiwan fishermen from further harm.
Ironically, the Philippine Government spokesman mention that Philippines are not concerned on the Taiwan Naval exercise because the exercise was conducted in Taiwan's own waters and in open seas, it directly contradict the claim that the killed fisherman was in Philippines waters because the Navy exercise was operating at the same location (actually even closer to the Philippines territorial waters) as the incident.
caractacus
First lesson of international relations: a sovereign nation should speak to another with one voice and not allow fools to interpose their own "deals". Basilio panicked, perhaps caring more for his own business interests in Taiwan than the interests of his country, and acted like a fool and a coward. How dare he propose talks on a fishing agreement without the authority of the President?
President Aquino must not only firmly withstand Taiwanese/Chinese racist bullying but he must also impose discipline on those under his command and remove those who think they are free to compromise their own country.
joseph.t.wu.35
哀悼並菲唯一的職業外交官的職業災害受害者
Sympathies and Condolences to the not one-and-only victim of occupational hazards of career diplomatic people
菲律賓代表或因「不良」提議免職
Philippine envoys face sack over 'rogue' offer to Taipei
ejmciii
Calling someone else "much more stupider"? Hmm, I love life's little ironies.
2018588583
Here is the simple message: If you steal fish in Philippine waters; you will be shot dead.
kung.tufo
Taiwan government is so uncivilized of handling their case against Philippines. No less than their unpopular President of their de facto government who issue harshed statements against The Philippines. If PCG act unwittingly against the Taiwan Fishermen for killing it must be addressed in the manner that the fate and livelihood of their country defends on that one fisherman that killed. So Childish and immature reaction. Last time I read the news Taiwan threatened of Military drill. Do you think Taiwan could scare Filipinos by such pronouncement? I think Filipinos are laughing by Taiwan's childish act. I remembered that Taiwan's legislators are unruly in congress by slapping each other. It is ridiculous country.

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