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PH Consulate in Hong Kong advises Pinoys to stay away from protests

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Courtesy : Reuters

The Philippine Consulate has advised Filipinos in Hong Kong to stay away from the on-going protests against the proposed extradition law.

READ: Hong Kong lawmakers double down on extradition bill following massive protest

In a statement, the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong said the protests are mainly outside the government central offices, particularly the Legislative Complex, in Admiralty and in Tamar Park.

“Should our nationals find themselves among the crowds of protesters, they should exercise extreme caution and vigilance in order to keep themselves safe from any isolated act of violence that might occur,” the statement reads.

The Consulate also advises Filipinos to be updated with the current security situation.

Meanwhile, the Consulate will continue to “monitor the situation and provide public advisories from time to time as necessary.”

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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 activist Joshua Wong released from jail

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, June 17th, 2019

Courtesy : Reuters

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong walked free from prison on Monday (June 17) after serving nearly five weeks for contempt of court, pledging to join a mass protest movement demanding that the city’s Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, to step down.

His release comes a day after organizers of the protest calling for Lam to quit over a controversial extradition bill said almost two million black-clad people joined Sunday’s march to government offices.

“Millions of Hong Kong people joined the demonstration and protest within the past few weeks. It shows the spirit and dignity of Hong Kong people. What we ask for is to urge Carrie Lam the evil chief executive should withdraw the extradition amendment,” he said.

“And what we are trying to do is just through civil disobedience and direct action and let the whole world, let the international communities to realize that how Hong Kong people will not keep silence under the suppression of President Xi and the Chief Executive Carrie Lam,” he added.

Wong continued with: “Carrie Lam must step down, otherwise I believe in the next few weeks before the 22 anniversary of Hong Kong transfer of sovereignty, more and more Hong Kong people not only one million or two million people will come and join our fight until the day we get back our basic human rights and freedom.”

Before he was jailed, both Wong, 22, and his supporters had called for the Hong Kong government to scrap the extradition proposal.

Wong who was one of the leaders of the 2014 “Umbrella” pro-democracy protests that blocked major roads in the Chinese-ruled city for 79 days presenting China’s Communist Party rulers in Beijing with one of their biggest political challenges in decades.

While Lam delayed the bill at the weekend, it has yet to be completely shelved, despite widespread concern that the status of Hong Kong as a financial hub could be eroded by changes to the rule of law. (REUTERS)

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Hong Kong protesters condemn ‘unreasonable’ police violence

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019

Police gathered in Tamar Park | Courtesy: Image grabbed from a Reuters video

Hong Kong demonstrators who experienced tear gas when the anti-extradition protest turned violent said on Thursday (June 13) that they condemned the ‘unreasonable’ use of force by the police.

Hundreds of people remained on the streets to protest a planned extradition law with mainland China, a day after police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray in a series of skirmishes to clear demonstrators from the legislature, with officials saying 72 people had been admitted to hospital by 10 p.m.

Uniformed police with helmets and shields blocked overhead walkways in Hong Kong’s financial district on Thursday, while a long row of police vans was parked nearby.

Plainclothes police officers checked commuters’ identity papers as a massive clean-up was underway, clearing streets of debris, like broken umbrellas used by protesters to protect themselves and broken baricades, left from the violent clashes.

Protesters, some still wearing face masks and goggles in case police once again use tear gas, were joined by students during the day.

But their numbers eased off later to a few hundred, after a Legislative Council meeting to discuss the extradition bill was postponed. (REUTERS)

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