Opposition senators urged Duterte: Question Hong Kong over Morales ordeal

Senators Bam Aquino and Risa Hontiveros / Photo from CNN Philippines 

Senators from the opposition on Wednesday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to question the decision of Hong Kong authorities to deny the entry of former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales from one of Chinese’ special administrative region.

Morales accused China’s President Xi Jinping of crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Senator Bam Aquino said the country should stand behind Morales as she is a Filipino citizen.

“Clearly, [the incident happened] because she filed a case [against Xi] in the ICC. Our country should stand behind her because at the end of the day, she’s a Filipino citizen,” Aquino said, as reported by the Inquirer.

“I’m hoping the government can throw its full support behind her, even question why she was held at the airport. I hope we see our government side with a fellow Filipino and not with a foreign government,” he added.

The former Ombudsman flew to Hong Kong on Tuesday with her family for a five-day vacation but was held in at the Hong Kong airport and then deported back to Manila.

Senator Risa Hontiveros for her part said that what happened was “a clear act of intimidation and retaliation”.

“I call on the Chinese government to explain why it held for four hours without any explanation a former high-ranking Philippine government official and a senior citizen who simply went to Hong Kong with her grandchildren to have a vacation,” Hontiveros said.

“I challenge [the government] to defend one of the country’s most accomplished public servants and bring this directly to the Chinese government, lest it be accused of siding with China against one of our country’s own citizens,” she added.

Sen. Francis Escudero said that this should be a “wake-up call” to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to be always ready to give assistance to any Filipino citizen held outside the Philippines.

He also admired the courage and poise of Morales while in a difficult challenge.

“I may not always agree with her, but I cannot help but admire the courage and grace of… Morales. Even under difficult circumstances, she remained composed, magnanimous and exuded a lot of wisdom with her spoken words,” said Escudero 

Malacanang, on the other hand, refused to question what The Chinese government did.

“We cannot intrude into the immigration laws of any country, in the same way that we expect they cannot intrude into ours,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

Source: Inquirer

Post a Comment