TAIPEI - Taiwan Sunday sent four coastguard and naval vessels to strengthen patrols in waters near the Philippines following public outrage over the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Filipino coastguards.
"The government is determined to protect our fishermen," cabinet spokeswoman Cheng Li-wen said in a statement as a frigate and coastguard vessels set sail for the area where the 65-year-old fisherman was killed Thursday.
Taiwan in a strongly-worded statement late Saturday demanded Manila apologise and compensate the victim's family or face a freeze on the hiring of its nationals.
It also asked the Philippines to bring to justice the coastguards responsible and start negotiating a fisheries agreement.
"If the Filipino government fails to respond in a positive manner within 72 hours, the hiring of Philippine workers will be frozen," said presidential office spokeswoman Lee Chia-fei.
There are about 87,000 Philippine domestic helpers and other workers in Taiwan and they send home hundreds of millions of dollars a year.