Philippines deports Taiwanese fraud suspect back to Taiwan


MANILA–With relations between Taiwan and the Philippines remaining tense over a deportation row that erupted last month, the Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BI) deported a Taiwanese suspect involved in a cross-Taiwan Strait fraud scheme back to Taiwan yesterday.

Escorted by Philippine BI officials and Taiwanese officials stationed in Manila, Huang Yu-pin, 30, was put aboard a plane bound for Taiwan, where he is expected to be tried on charges of telephone fraud.

Huang, wanted by the Taiwanese authorities since 2007, was arrested by agents from the two countries in a joint raid conducted in the greater Manila area last December.

Huang’s deportation from the Philippines to Taiwan marked a turning point in recent bilateral ties marred by Manila’s decision to deport 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China along with 10 of their Chinese accomplices.

The move angered Taiwan and President Ma Ying-jeou demanded a formal apology from the Philippines.

In response, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said Manila was willing to settle the dispute through concrete actions but did not go as far as issuing a formal apology to Taipei.

Manuel Roxas, an emissary appointed by Aquino, visited Taipei late last month to explain the Philippines actions, but made no formal apology before he left Taiwan.

However, Roxas promised Foreign Minister Timothy C.T, Yang that the Philippines will punish any officials found accountable for the incident — which echoed Aquino’s position.

Meanwhile, there was speculation that an upcoming replacement of Philippine government officials might be a result of the Feb. 2 deportation row.

Gen. Ricardo David Jr., former chief of staff of the Philippine Armed Forces, will become chief of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) , while the bureau’s intelligence head, Faizal Hussin, will be replaced by Antoinett Bucasas, BI officials told CNA, citing a Department of Justice order that went into effect a day earlier.