Morales knew
TO THE QUICK - Jerry S. Tundag (The Freeman) - May 27, 2019 - 12:00am

Some people believe former Philippine ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales erred in going to Hong Kong with her family instead of to either Tokyo or Singapore. As everybody knows by now, Morales was detained for hours at the Hong Kong airport by Chinese immigration authorities before finally being allowed entry, which by then she refused, opting instead to fly home.

I do not think Morales erred at all. She may be retired, but she remains as sharp as ever. I believe Morales knew exactly where she was going last Tuesday and knew what she was doing. In fact, I believe she was prepared for the consequences of her decision to go to Hong Kong. It was evident on her return.

Back in Manila, Morales promptly described her experience as an act of "bullying" by the Chinese, although I do not see how being asked questions can constitute bullying. Unless of course, as Morales herself perfectly knows, she can provide specific acts of bullying, which she unfortunately did not.

To be asked questions is a most normal thing, especially if one is being held, for whatever reason. As a lawyer, a former supreme court associate justice, and a former ombudsman, Morales must have asked countless questions of countless people, and I wonder if it might have occurred to her that, in so doing, she might have bullied them, hence the feeling.

But why does Morales think she was bullied? She herself thinks her "ordeal" had something to do with the case she filed with the International Criminal Court against Chinese president Xi Jinping for, among other things, allegedly "bullying" the Filipino people.

Ahhh. There it is. I knew Morales knew exactly where she was going, knew what she was doing. She was going straight to the dragon's lair. After suing the leader of the sovereign Chinese nation, and thereby embarrassing him in the eyes of his 1.2 billion people, surely Morales did not expect a red carpet welcome.

As a citizen of the free world, Morales has every right to bitch about anything, including about being asked so many questions. But as a woman steeped in the law, she ought to know as well that China, as a sovereign nation, has every right to ask her questions while within its borders and that it can refuse her entry for no other reason than that it doesn't like her teeth.

I think Morales chose to go to Hong Kong deliberately. And I think it had something to do with the case of "bullying" she filed against Xi. She knew she would not be welcome. But however the unwelcome gets manifested, she gets something to show for her charges. Problem is, will the ICC bite? And even then, will Xi even flinch, much less give a damn?

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