Former Philippine Foreign Secretary Held in Hong Kong on Flight Home

Following a series of dissent and protests held in Hong Kong over a proposed law on extradition policies in the country, other issues put in the “backseat” surface yet again, which only rubs salt into the wound.

This time, the issue involves a former top Filipino diplomat, who expressed opposition to Hong Kong’s major ally, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in a matter of the State, for which the top diplomat was only expressing his views in the best interest of his people.

Former Philippine Foreign Secretary Held in Hong Kong on his Flight Home
Credits: UNTV

Ex-Foreign Affairs Secretary Held at HK Airport on his Way Home

The incident involved former Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, who was on his way back to Manila, but was held for about six hours at Hong Kong International Airport last June 21 (Friday) for reasons that were not made clear, as shared in a report by the Sun HK.

The country’s former top diplomat arrived in Hong Kong from Manila on board a Cathay Pacific flight at about 7:30 am on Friday, to attend a board meeting of the First Pacific Group of Companies.

Del Rosario flew back to Manila on board another Cathay flight that was scheduled to land at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 4:25 pm, but not without challenges on his way.

According to Del Rosario’s lawyer, Anne Marie Corominas, the former top diplomat was holding a diplomatic passport for which Hong Kong authorities were informed about, but did not give any indication that he would be barred entry.

Corominas shared that the former diplomat was only told that he was being held because of “immigration reasons.”

The lawyer pointed out that the event only raises the question of where Hong Kong is directly getting instructions from.

Del Rosario’s ordeal came only a month after former Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio-Morales, was also barred entry to Hong Kong.

It can be recalled that the two had jointly filed a case against Chinese President Xi Jinping at the International Criminal Court over China’s incursions in the West Philippine Sea, which many onlookers claim could have triggered the decision to bar them both from Hong Kong.

Similar to what happened to ex-Justice Carpio-Morales’ case, Del Rosario was reportedly held in isolation for a few hours before Philippine Consulate officers were allowed to join him.

The difference between the two cases though, as Corominas pointed out, was that Carpio-Morales visited Hong Kong as a tourist, holding a regular passport, whereas Del Rosario was on an official visit.

With the incident still relatively fresh in Hong Kong, this gives us a clear picture at how politics is at play among China and its allies. And even if we don’t mean any opposition to the affairs of the government, OFWs in Hong Kong are advised to refrain from joining political demonstrations, and to stay updated for news from the Philippine Consulate at all times.

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