Morales HK ban: It’s China’s ‘retaliation’ for ICC case, says Kiko
MANILA, Philippines — Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales was denied entry to Hong Kong in “retaliation for her courageous act of bringing China to court,” Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said on Tuesday.
Morales was in Hong Kong for a vacation with her family but was barred from entering the Chinese special administrative region for being a “security threat.” The former Ombudsman will be deported Tuesday night.
It will be recalled that Morales, who along with former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario filed a case against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court over the “atrocious actions of Chinese officials in the South China Sea and within Philippine territory.”
“This is clearly in retaliation for her courageous act of bringing China to Court,” Pangilinan told reporters in a text message.
Pangilinan added that Morales’ deportation will not stop the former Ombudsman from pursuing the case.
“Knowing the former Ombudsman this will not deter her from pursuing the case and as such the act of deporting her will only further strengthen her resolve,” Pangilinan said.
The incident, Pangilinan said, only exposed China’s “resolve” against those who condemn their illegal acts, particularly on the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
“It has also exposed China’s resolve to go after those who oppose and refuse to accept their illegal acts committed in the West Philippine Sea,” the senator said.
Morales’ lawyer, Anne Marie Corominas Corominas said they are still coordinating with authorities regarding the incident but questioned the grounds of Hong Kong authorities in denying Morales entry to that country.
“Former Ombudswoman Carpio-Morales has over 50 years of unblemished record in government service. I don’t know what the security threat (is) unless President [Xi Jinping] is afraid of her,” Corominas said in a telephone interview with INQUIRER.net.
“We’re just asking how can a 78-year old former anti-corruption Ombudswoman be a security threat to China,” she added.
Morales will leave Hong Kong for Manila at 6 p.m. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.