DFA Extends Assistance to Filipino Arrested in Hong Kong

Amid the tumultuous political situation in Hong Kong, it can’t be helped that other nationalities could get involved in the conflict in their host country.

In line with this, officials from the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs are now monitoring the situation and are coordinating with lawyers in Hong Kong to assist the Filipino arrested in Mong Kok at the height of ongoing protests in the city. The national was arrested on charges of joining the massive protests, which is prohibited for foreign nationals in Hong Kong.

DFA Extends Assistance to Filipino Arrested in Hong Kong
Screengrab from BBC News

DFA Monitors Situation of Arrested Filipino Nationals in HK

In line with this, Deputy Consul General to Hong Kong Germinia Aguilar-Usudan reported that Consulate General personnel have visited the Filipino, who was found to be safe and in good condition, as shared in a report by the Manila Bulletin.

According to the DFA, the man who refused to be named said that he did not join the protests but was only out to buy food when the arrest took place.

In a statement, the DFA clarified, “He was just in the area to buy food, passing through the side streets, knowing that protests were on-going in the main streets. However, protesters were also on the side street where he was, and the former started running as they were chased by riot police. He was accosted by the police in the belief that he was one of them.”

In an update, the DFA also shared that the Consul General in Hong Kong is now coordinating with authorities and Filipino lawyers to facilitate the release of the arrested Filipino.

Currently, the Filipino is under investigation for “unlawful assembly” in line with his alleged participation in the rallies. But the Consulate General is making sure that his legal rights (and his assertions of innocence) are duly respected,” the DFA explained in a statement.

In line with this, the DFA through the Consulate General in Hong Kong reiterates its advice for Filipinos to stay alert and to stay clear from areas of protest, as well as to refrain from wearing or carrying anything that could mistakenly identify them as part of the protest action.

It’s important for all Filipinos living in Hong Kong to remain neutral despite their political inclinations and personal beliefs regarding the issue being dealt with by the State. Also, being mindful of the little things such as avoiding being seen wearing the same colour of clothing or being in areas where demonstrations are being held are extremely important for all residents in the country at this point in time.

ALSO READ: ADVISORY: Filipinos in Hong Kong Cautioned to Stay Away from Demonstration Hot Spots in the City

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