Palace not worried about Akbayan solon’s visit to HK
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday said a lawmaker’s visit to Hong Kong to support the pro-democracy protests would not jeopardize the country’s relationship with China.
“Based on reports, Representative (Walden) Bello stated that his presence before the Hong Kong protesters was done by him in his personal capacity and as an ‘ordinary citizen,’” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told media.
“Such being the case, it cannot be viewed as interfering in the internal affairs of China,” he explained.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, on the other hand, said Malacañang is focused on the safety of Filipinos working and living in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China.
The Akbayan representative and administration ally on Saturday went to Hong Kong to express support for the massive rallies being held in the city’s government center.
Bello spoke before the crowd and shared the Philippines’ experience during the Edsa people power in 1986, which led to the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship.
Hong Kong protesters have been calling for “full democracy” or the right to nominate and directly elect the head of their government instead of allowing China to screen candidates.
The diplomatic relationship between the Philippines and China has been strained amid territorial disputes in the South China Sea.