Ex-DFA chief Del Rosario held at Hong Kong airport
Robie de Guzman • June 21, 2019 • 2091
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.
Hong Kong police fired live rounds Monday morning, hitting at least one protester, amid a citywide strike and widespread chaos.
Shortly before 8 am local time (00:00 GMT), witness videos emerged of a police officer firing his gun amid a scuffle on a busy street in the middle-class residential area of Sai Wan Ho, where a group of protesters was blocking traffic.
In a video captured by Cupid News, the officer was first seen running across a road, apparently giving chase, before he stopped and started to walk back. In a sudden move, he turned around, took out his gun and grabbed a young man in white hoodie wearing a mask.
The young man struggled and the officer then appeared to fire a shot at close range into the stomach of an approaching black-clad masked man who dropped to the ground. In footage less clear, bystanders confronted the officer who then fired two more shots, with another person dropping to the ground.
The Hospital Authority confirmed to EFE on Monday afternoon that a 21-year-old man who sustained a gunshot wound was in critical condition. Local media reported the authority as saying another man was seriously injured.
“During Police operations, one Police officer has discharged his service revolver, one male was shot,” police confirmed in a statement.
It added that officers had drawn their weapons in two other locations, but denied “false and malicious” reports that “police management has ordered frontline officers to recklessly use their firearms.”
The proposed citywide strike on Monday was called for by angry anti-government netizens after the death on Friday of 22-year-old university student Alex Chow Tsz-lok. He fell from a height in a car park on Nov. 3 and suffered serious brain injuries under circumstances that are still unclear.
Chaos continued to escalate in the former British colony as the strike brought traffic chaos to various parts of the city during rush hour.
Police were out in force early, with riot officers deployed to various districts. Following the shooting incident, an angry crowd gathered in Sai Wan Ho and shouted “murderers” at the police who cordoned off and guarded roads in the area.
The police statement said that protesters had set up barricades across multiple locations, dropped “large and heavy objects from heights to carriageways” and “threw a petrol bomb into the MTR compartment and vandalized university facilities.”
At around 8.30 am, riot police reportedly entered the campus of Polytechnic University and fired teargas at protesters.
Teargas was also reportedly fired near the campus of the University of Hong Kong on Hong Kong Island and the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the New Territories.
Classes were suspended in at least two universities, namely Shue Yan University and Polytechnic University.
At some metro stations, activists jammed trains and prevented train doors from closing. Many roads were blocked by makeshift barricades erected by black-clad men who came and went quickly. Various metro stations were closed while train services were delayed. – EFE-EPA (Shirley Lau)
China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday (October 23) that the Financial Times report on plans for replacing Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam was a political rumor with ulterior motives.
Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comments at a daily news briefing in Beijing saying, “This is a political rumor that has ulterior motives.”
“The central government will staunchly support chief executive Carrie Lam and the government of the special administrative region’s governing in accordance with the law and bringing about an end to the violence and chaos as soon as possible and return to order,” the official added.
The FT reported that China was drawing up a plan to replace Hong Kong leader Lam with an “interim” chief executive, citing people briefed on the deliberations.
Hong Kong’s legislature on Wednesday (October 23) formally withdrew planned legislation that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, but the move was unlikely to end months of unrest as it met just one of five demands of pro-democracy protesters. (Reuters)
Pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong heckled the city’s embattled leader and called for her to step down on Thursday (October 17) during a legislative session that was repeatedly suspended as several politicians were manhandled out of the chamber.
It was the second day of chaos in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council as leader Carrie Lam tried to answer questions about her annual policy address, which she was forced to deliver by video link on Wednesday (October 16) after similar disruptions in the assembly.
Lam, who is backed by China’s government, announced measures on Wednesday to tackle the city’s chronic housing shortage in her address after she was jeered in the chamber. Again, on Thursday, pro-democracy lawmakers shouted for Lam to resign, saying she had blood on her hands.
They also called on her to address protesters’ key demands – something her policy address largely ignored.
About a dozen members of the assembly were ejected, shouting and waving placards as security guards marched them out. (Reuters)
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