Taiwan rejects deportation call against Pinay caregiver critical of Duterte

Marje Pelayo   •   April 29, 2020   •   391

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The country’s foreign ministry has rejected calls for the deportation of a Filipina caregiver accused of cyber-libel by a Philippine labor official in Taiwan for “willful posting of nasty and malevolent materials against President Duterte.”

In a news conference on Tuesday (April 28), Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokeswoman Joanne Ou noted that as a democratic country, Taiwan gives the same treatment to all foreign workers as its own citizens and that “their rights are protected, including freedom of speech.”

Labor Attaché Fidel Macauyag of the Philippines Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Taichung, Taiwan brought up the issue on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) website on Saturday (April 25).

In a press statement, Macauyag said the Filipina worker’s action “intended to cause hatred amidst the current global health crisis caused by coronavirus disease (COVID-19).”

The Pinay caregiver,  identified as Elanei Egot Ordidor, is employed in Yunlin County in Taiwan.

The official alleged that Ordidor was using multiple social media accounts and joined groups “organized to discredit and malign the President and destabilize the government.”

He said his staff went to warn the OFW of the consequences of her posts on April 20 to which she conceded and assured to delete them and post a public apology to the President and the Philippines government.

His office also has coordinated with the worker’s broker and employer on her deportation on her supposed violation of the Philippines’ Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

In an interview with Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA), Philippine representative and chair of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei, Angelito Banayo said there was no instruction coming from the Philippines regarding the matter. 

He also noted that the order for deportation is a sovereign right of Taiwan being the host government.

“So the question of deportation is something that only the Taiwanese government can decide upon,” he said.

Check in but go nowhere: Taiwan offers fake flights for travel-starved tourists

UNTV News   •   July 3, 2020

Starved of the travel experience during the coronavirus lockdown? One airport in Taiwan has the solution – a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security and even board the aircraft. You just never leave.

Taipei’s downtown Songshan airport on Thursday (July 2) began offering travellers the chance to do just that, with some 60 people hungry to get going, albeit to nowhere.

Around 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen at random. More fake flight experiences will take place in coming weeks.

The passengers got boarding passes, and proceeded through security and immigration before boarding an Airbus A330 of Taiwan’s largest carrier, China Airlines, where flight attendants chatted to them and explained coronavirus prevention methods.

The airport is using the event as a publicity opportunity to show off renovations it has completed while passengers have stayed away.

Songshan usually has flights to Tokyo, Seoul and several Chinese cities, and is also an important domestic hub.

Taiwan has emerged relatively unscathed from the pandemic thanks to early and effective prevention steps, but has largely closed its borders since mid-March and advised its citizens against all overseas travel unless absolutely necessary.

While a handful of international flights have continued, passenger numbers plummeted almost 64 percent in the first five months of 2020 compared with the same period last year, according to the government.

Still, in one bright spot, internal travel is booming.

Taiwan’s two main domestic carriers – China Airlines unit Mandarin Airlines and Eva Air’s Uni Air – have added extra capacity over the summer to Taiwan’s sun-soaked offshore islands and rugged east coast. (Reuters)

(Production: Ann Wang, Martin Pollard, Ben Blanchard)

PH Labor Office in Riyadh suspends operation after 6 staffers contract COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   June 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Riyadh will temporarily suspend its operations effective Sunday, June 14, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced.

In a statement on Thursday, DOLE said the suspension of POLO-Riyadh operation will be implemented after six of its staff tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The objective of the temporary suspension is to prevent the escalation of infection among POLO staff and its clients and to allow the conduct of a thorough disinfection of the office premises,” Labor Attaché Nasser Mustafa was quoted as saying in the statement.

Mustafa said all 37 POLO personnel already underwent COVID-19 testing.

He also assured that POLO officers and staff will still respond to calls, offer consulting services to clients and provide counselling on a 24/7 basis to distressed overseas Filipino workers as they will be on work-from-home arrangement starting Sunday.

DOLE said it will release an advisory for the guidance of the transacting public.

PH Immigration to deport Russian woman wanted for fraud

Robie de Guzman   •   February 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A Russian woman wanted by authorities in her country for large-scale fraud is set to be deported, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday said.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the Russian female as 36-year old Uba Iuliia, who was arrested last February 6 inside her condominium unit in Makati City.

Morente said Iuliia was arrested by operatives from the bureau’s fugitive search unit at the request of Russian authorities so she could be prosecuted for her alleged crimes.

In a letter to the BI in October 2019, Russian authorities said Iuliia has a standing arrest warrant issued by the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the City of Ulyanovsky, Russia for large scale fraud with abuse of authority.

Her suspected accomplice remains at large, and is the object of a continuing manhunt for BI-FSU operatives, the BI said.

A check at the bureau’s travel database revealed that Iuliia had been hiding in the country since July last year when she arrived in Manila as a tourist.

It was learned that her passport was already confiscated by the Russian government, thus she will be deported for being an undocumented and undesirable alien, the BI chief said.

The Russian woman’s name was already placed in the immigration blacklist to prevent her from returning to the Philippines, Morente added.

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