Taiwan’s New Southbound Push Risks Duterte Drug War Complicity

A Filipino fugitive awaits deportation in Taipei on drug charges, illustrating how the Tsai administration’s New Southbound Policy’s fails to consider human rights.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/06/30
By: Nick Aspinwall

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who celebrates two years in power today,

photo credit: REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao/達志影像

recently insisted that police and the military remained free to kill suspected drug users without due process.

His words may have chilled Filipino fugitive Ricardo “Ardot” Parojinog if they reached his prison cell in Taipei, where he awaits a deportation decision that will test the relationship between Taiwan and its southern neighbor.

Last Monday, the director of commercial affairs for the Philippines’ de facto embassy in Taipei, Michael Alfred Ignacio, said his country can become “Taiwan’s gateway to Southeast Asia,” touting the expansion of two-way economic and educational exchanges under President Tsai Ing-wen’ (蔡英文)’s New Southbound Policy (NSP).

The NSP has been called a purely “economic” plan by its first director, James Huang (黃志芳), but the policy – a large-scale effort to deepen ties with neighboring states, including the Philippines and a keystone of the Tsai administration’s foreign policy – has come under criticism for its failure to work human rights standards into its agreements with partner countries.    [FULL  STORY]

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