De Lima confident Taiwan row will be resolved

February 11, 2011 12:47 pm 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr.

MANILA, Feb. 10 — Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila De Lima on Thursday expressed confidence that the Taiwanese government will reconsider its reported retaliatory moves against the Philippines.

The said retaliatory moves were made following the decision by the DOJ, through the Bureau of Immigration (BI), to deport suspected members of an international fraud syndicate to the People's Republic of China (PROC).

De Lima aired the optimism in the wake of reports that Taiwan is mulling adverse economic and labor options against the country, particularly against overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in that country.

"Taiwan is an important partner not only in trade and investments but also in our war against international crime syndicates," De Lima said.

"I am optimistic that the Taiwanese leadership will see the wisdom behind our move to deport the suspects to the PROC," De Lima added.

De Lima said that the Philippine government has decided that deportation to the PROC will ensure that the suspected criminal elements are successfully prosecuted.

"It is also consistent with our national interest that we protect our country and citizens from undesirable aliens," De Lima said.

De Lima said that the prosecution of the suspects in China for the crime of estafa or similar offenses is the best option since the victims are all residents of that country.

"Testimonies and presentation of evidence against the suspects will therefore be done more expeditiously," she pointed out.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) cracked down on the Chinese suspects in raids in the cities of Makati, Paranaque, Muntinlupa and Quezon.

The suspects are reportedly victimizing residents of mainland China in a massive criminal modus operandi using internet and telecommunications devices to access their victims and exact money from them.

The suspected criminal operations reportedly netted some US$ 20.6 million. (PNA) DCT/LOR/PTR

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