Duterte rebukes Del Rosario: You have no business using diplomatic passport
Updated at 3:19 a.m., June 27, 2019, to add more quotes
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte slammed Wednesday former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert Del Rosario for using a diplomatic passport.
“Naggamit-gamit ng passport na hindi naman dapat. When you are no longer an employee of government, you have no business using a government diplomatic passport,” Duterte said in his speech at the 122nd Presidential Security Group founding anniversary at the Malacañang Park.
Del Rosario was held and questioned for six hours at the Hong Kong International Airport on June 21 before he was finally denied entry.
Del Rosario went through the same ordeal former Ombudsman chief Conchita Carpio-Morales endured when she was barred from entering Hong Kong in May.
Del Rosario and Morales filed a communication for crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court against Chinese President Xi Jinping in March.
Del Rosario said Monday that revoking the courtesy diplomatic passports of former foreign affairs secretaries and diplomats was “illegal” and “unlawful.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs ordered the cancellation of diplomatic passports given to former diplomats of the country, including Del Rosario’s.
But the ex-top diplomat said the department order revoking all diplomatic passports issued to former DFA chiefs and ambassadors “cannot supersede the [Philippine] Passport Act” as it “has to go through Congress for approval.”
Del Rosario argued that under the Philippine Passport Act, former AEPs — Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary — “had been granted the privileges of a diplomatic passport and that “this is a part of the [Philippine] Passport Act and it constitutes the law of the land.”
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