Kiko: China’s ‘intimidation’ won’t deter Del Rosario, Morales in fight for sovereignty
MANILA, Philippines — China’s “intimidation” and “retaliation” against former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales will strengthen their fight for the country’s sovereignty, opposition Sen. Francis Pangilinan said Friday.
“We said it before, we’ll say it again: This will not deter them from pursuing China at court. This will only strengthen their resolve as we continue to assert for our sovereign rights,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
Earlier, Del Rosario was denied entry to Hong Kong, China’s special administrative region, “for no clear reason.” The same happened to Carpio-Morales on May 21, after she was tagged a “security threat.”
In March, the two filed before the International Criminal Court a case against Chinese President Xi Jinping for crimes against humanity.
Pangilinan also demanded that the Hong Kong Immigration explain why they held Del Rosario.
“After being held and questioned for six hours, former Sec. Del Rosario has now been denied entry to Hong Kong. The reasons remain unclear. They must answer to us: Why was a former top diplomat held, questioned, and barred entry at the Hong Kong airport?” the senator asked.
“We call on the DFA to exhaust all diplomatic means to ensure Sec. Del Rosario’s safety and to help protect his rights while he is yet to arrive home,” the Liberal Part president added.
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.
The confinement of Del Rosario came weeks after a China vessel rammed and abandoned a Philippine fishing boat with 22 fishermen in Recto Bank (Reed Bank).
China had proposed a joint marine inquiry with the Philippines to look into the sinking but Del Rosario, who led the Philippines’ in winning the arbitration case against China under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III, opposed this.
“The plan for a joint probe by the Ph and China is the worst news yet. It redounds to a potential partnership between one party (Ph who is out to seek the truth) against another party (China, the bully) who is out to suppress it,” he said in a statement before he left for Hong Kong on Friday morning.
The former DFA chief is now bound for Manila as of this posting. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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.