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Ex-DFA chief Del Rosario held at Hong Kong airport

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2019

Former Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario

MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario was held up by immigration officials when he arrived at Hong Kong International Airport on Friday morning.

“Yes, it’s true,” Philippine Consul Paul Saret, head of the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section, confirmed in a message to UNTV News and Rescue when asked if the report about Del Rosario being held up at the Hong Kong immigration was true.

Saret said they are trying to solve the issue first and refused to provide further details.

Del Rosario earlier told media in a message he was “detained” at the immigration office since he arrived at around 7:40 a.m. He added he has been asking for the reasons why he was being held up when he is carrying a diplomatic passport.

Del Rosario is in Hong Kong to attend First Pacific’s board and shareholders meeting.

Philippine Consul General in Hong Kong Antonio Morales, meanwhile, said in a radio interview that Del Rosario was waiting for clearance at the immigration area. He was accompanied by a representative from the Philippine Consulate.

Morales also said they had informed the Hong Kong authorities about Del Rosario’s arrival but they received no response to their request that he be allowed to use an immigration special lane.

Del Rosario, along with former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, filed a communication against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court in relation with Beijing’s activities in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

It can be recalled that Carpio-Morales was also held up by immigration officers when she and her family visited Hong Kong in May.

READ: Morales on getting held at Hong Kong airport: ‘It was bullying’

Although Morales was eventually allowed entry to Hong Kong, she decided to just go back to the Philippines. She also called her temporary held-up at the airport a form of bullying.

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Hong Kong: Arrests made as protesters march anew

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019

Courtesy: PVI

Police made a number of arrests on Sunday (July 7) as protesters marched through Hong Kong’s most popular tourist areas.

Protests against the now-suspended bill have drawn millions of people to the streets in the former British colony in recent weeks, posing the biggest challenge Beijing has faced to its rule in the territory since Hong Kong returned to Chinese control in 1997.

Protesters braved intermittent rain and marched through streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, a popular shopping destination with luxury shops, to try to deliver their message directly to mainland Chinese tourists in the hope of garnering sympathy.

By evening, most protesters had left but several hundred regrouped and marched up a busy street toward the densely populated Mong Kok neighborhood, blocking traffic along the way.

Lines of police with helmets and plastic shields stopped their advance and worked to disperse the group by driving them back, mostly peacefully.

Live TV footage showed a handful of protesters being detained after being wrestled to the ground. (REUTERS)

(Production: Xihao Jiang)

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Three Filipino tourists jailed in Hong Kong

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Courtesy : Photoville International

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed giving assistance to three Filipino tourists who were sentenced to five-month imprisonment in Hong Kong for using forged documents.

According the DFA, the three call center employees were involved in a supposed “free Hong Kong tour” which turned out to be a scam.

They opened bank accounts, specifically with Bank of China and Standard Chartered Bank, using falsified documents.

Despite successfully opening an account, authorities suspected that the accounts were to be used for money laundering activities and so arrested the three when they returned to the bank.

“Consul General Antonio Morales reported that the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong has been providing in-kind support and legal advice to the three Filipinos, including jail visits to ascertain their condition,” the DFA said.

Sentenced on February 18, the three Filipinos pleaded guilty to two counts of “using a false instrument” before the Hong Kong Magistrates’ Courts.

For this, Morales said the three are expected to be released in March after serving a reduced sentence for admitting the offense.

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Calm returns to Hong Kong after violent protests

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

A protester spraying paint over Hong Kong coat of arms @ LegCo chamber | Courtesy : Reuters

Hong Kong’s legislative council complex has been declared a “crime scene” lawmakers said on Tuesday (July 2), hours after police used tear gas to clear protesters who had stormed the building to protest against an extradition bill.

Police cleared roads near the heart of the financial center, paving the way for business to return to normal following extraordinary violence on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s 1997 return to Chinese rule.

A calm descended on Hong Kong early on Tuesday. Debris including umbrellas, hard hats and water bottles were the few signs left of the mayhem that had engulfed parts of the Chinese-ruled city overnight after protesters stormed and ransacked the legislature.

However, the former British colony’s government offices, where protesters smashed computers and spray-painted “anti-extradition” and slurs against the police and government on chamber walls, were closed on Tuesday.

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