Hontiveros to DFA: Stand by ex-top diplomat Del Rosario | Global News
Lady senator brands incident as 'harassment, retaliation'

Hontiveros to DFA: Stand by ex-top diplomat Del Rosario

/ 01:24 PM June 21, 2019
Hontiveros to DFA: Stand by ex-top diplomat Del Rosario

Senator Risa Hontiveros. INQUIRER file photo / RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — Opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros has called on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to stand by former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario who is being held and questioned by the Hong Kong Immigration on Friday.

READ: Ex-Foreign Secretary Del Rosario held, questioned at Hong Kong airport

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The senator also called the incident a “clear case of harassment and retaliation” since Del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales filed a case for crimes against humanity against Chinese President Xi Jinping at the International Criminal Court last March.

“Iniisa-isa na ba ng gobyernong Tsina ang lahat ng Pilipino na tumitindig at lumalaban para sa soberanya at teritoryo ng ating bansa? How long will this government stay silent and allow our nation, our fisherfolk, and now our respected civil servants, to be harassed?” Hontiveros asked in a statement.

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READ: ‘Plain and simple harassment,’ Del Rosario says of Hong Kong airport detention

It could also be a response to Del Rosario’s criticism of the proposed joint Philippines-China investigation on the Recto Bank hit-and-run incident, according to the legislator.

READ: Del Rosario says joint probe will redound partnership between PH, ‘bully’ China

The DFA, Hontiveros said, should also take appropriate diplomatic actions if ever diplomatic protocols were violated since Del Rosario used a diplomatic passport when he flew to Hong Kong early Friday to attend a board and shareholders meetings of First Pacific. She also urged the DFA to follow up its inquiry into Carpio-Morales’ confinement in Hong Kong on May 21.

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READ: Ex-Ombudsman Morales denied entry to HK for being ‘security threat’

The Filipino people, Hontiveros added, should pressure the Duterte administration to implement a foreign policy that “truly protects the Filipino people and is reflective of our interests.”

“It is now clear that President Duterte’s subservient policy to China has failed to protect our territories, fisherfolk and public leaders, and if we continue on this course, it will spell disaster for our country,” she added.

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Del Rosario said the Hong Kong Immigration has yet to offer a clear reason for his “detention.”

While he said his camp would study their next step, Del Rosario said his lawyer “believes that this is in clear violation” of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The treaty, adopted in 1961, codifies rules of international law on diplomatic intercourse, privileges, and immunities. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)

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