No curtailment of freedom of expression amid deportation move vs Taiwan OFW: MECO


Posted at Apr 29 2020 08:55 AM | Updated as of Apr 29 2020 09:04 AM

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MANILA - The Philippine government's representative in Taiwan on Wednesday assured its citizens there it would not curtail freedom of expression following a supposed call for deportation of a migrant worker due to libelous comments against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) chairman Angelito Banayo had earlier denied there was a deportation order for a Filipino caregiver in Yunlin county.

Speaking to ANC, Banayo said a labor official in Manila had brought to the attention of a Philippine official in Taichung the caregiver's social media post against the President.

This prompted the Taichung labor official to act "unilaterally," he added.

"Apparently, it was either the labor attaché on his own, unilaterally took action or received directions from home office," he told ANC.

"I'd like to assure the people, you know I've been the subject of 6 libel cases in the past... I would be the last person to countenance any curtailment of freedom of expression."

Banayo said he then formally wrote to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs explaining the situation. The agency has since dismissed the call for the caregiver's deportation.

The Filipina migrant worker is set to appear before Philippine labor officials in Yunlin country to explain the incident, Banayo said.