Albert del Rosario
Albert del Rosario, a businessman, served as Foreign Affairs secretary of the Philippines under the administration of President Noynoy Aquino.
AFP/File
Del Rosario, Philippines' ex-top diplomat, denied entry to Hong Kong
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - June 21, 2019 - 2:00pm

MANILA, Philippines (2nd update at 2:22 p.m.) — After more than five hours of being held at the airport in Hong Kong, former top diplomat Albert Del Rosario has been denied entry to the semiautonomous Chinese territory.

His lawyer Anne Marie Corominas confirmed that Del Rosario, who holds a diplomatic passport given by the Philippine government and a businessman by profession, was barred from entering Hong Kong.

"He's been excluded, denied entry," Corominas told Philstar.com.

She added that the former Foreign Affairs chief has already boarded the plane heading back to Manila in a Cathay Pacific flight that is set to leave at 2:05 p.m.

The lawyer said that Del Rosario was not informed of the reason that he was barred from entering Hong Kong.

"We weren't able to get specific reasons only vague immigration reason," she added.

He was held and questioned by immigration officials after his arrival at the Hong Kong International Airport past 7 a.m. on Friday.

Corominas earlier said that Del Rosario, who was set to attend a stockholders’ meeting in Hong Kong, was not given any reason why he was excluded by immigration officials.

Del Rosario accused Xi before ICC

Earlier this year, Del Rosario, along with former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, submitted a communication before the International Criminal Court against Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi is accused of militaristic actions in the South China Sea, specifically in the eastern portion named the West Philippine Sea lawfully under the Philippines' jurisdiction.

Corominas said that the Immigration officials’ actions show that “Hong Kong is not autonomous.”  Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China.

“Where are they getting instructions? Are they getting them from President Xi?” she added.

Like Del Rosario, Carpio Morales was similarly refused entry to Hong Kong in May for a family event.

Malacañang kept its distance from the issue despite ongoing tensions over the West Philippine Sea. President Rodrigo Duterte has pursued a friendlier stance toward China in a major foreign policy pivot since he assumed leadership.

 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
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