By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang said the Philippines continues to consider Taiwan as a close friend of the country despite maintaining the One-China Policy which considers Taiwan as a part of the Asian giant.
In an interview over TV news channel One PH, Roque said the One-China Policy has been observed by the Philippines for a long time already.
“Meron na tayong matagal nang polisiya tungkol diyan at karamihan po ng bansa sa daigdig kapareho natin ng polisiya (We have a long-standing policy, just like many other countries, regarding this),” he said.
He thanked Taiwan for hosting Filipino workers in their country but said this will not change the Philippines’ stand on the matter.
“Kaibigan po natin ang Taiwan. Meron po tayong economic and cultural relationship sa kanila at nagpapasalamat po tayo sa kanila dahil napakadaming Pilipinong binibigyan nila ng trabaho (We’re friends with Taiwan. We have an economic and cultural relationship with them and we thank them for giving many Filipinos work there),” Roque said.
“Pero ang polisiya natin hindi po nagbabago diyan (But our policy has not changed),” he added.
Taiwan expressed “strong dissatisfaction” to his remarks that supposedly misrepresented Taiwan as a part of the Asian giant when he talked about the call to deport the Filipino caregiver who made “nasty, malevolent” posts on social media against President Duterte.
Despite this, Roque did not give a clear action if the country will apologize for his remarks.
“May polisiya na po tayo, lahat po ng dapat gawin ay ginawa na po ng gobyerno (We already have a policy and the government already did everything it could),” he said.
“Iisa lang po ang polisiya natin, hindi po nagbabago ‘yan (We have one policy and that will never change),” he added.
After Taiwan rejected the call of the Philippines Overseas Labor Office (POLO) to deport Elanel Ordidor because of her criticisms against President Duterte, Roque agreed that the host country has the final say on deporting foreign nationals.
“We leave the Filipino caregiver to the jurisdiction of Taiwanese authorities because deportation is really a decision to be made by Taiwanese authorities which forms part of China. We leave it that wholly to the discretion of Taiwan and China. Taiwan is part of China,” he said in an interview over ANC last week.
In response, Taiwan foreign affairs spokesperson Joanne Ou said Philippine authorities should “stop misrepresenting Taiwan as a part of China.”