Guevarra to seek DFA’s help in assisting former DFA chief held in HK

Published June 21, 2019, 2:05 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he will ask the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to find out the reason why its former head Albert del Rosario was held at the Hong Kong immigration.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

Guevarra, who was appointed as Officer-in-Charge while President Duetrte is in Thailand, made the statement after it was reported that Del Rosario, who filed a communication against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC), was held at Hong Kong immigration for three hours Friday morning.

In a text message, Guevarra said he will also ask the DFA to extend whatever assistance to the country’s former top diplomat.

“As OIC, I will request the DFA to find out the reason for former SFA’s exclusion and extend whatever assistance could be given to him as a former foreign minister of our country,” he said.

According to reports, Del Rosario was instructed to stay in a small room where he was asked about the nature of his travel to Hong Kong by immigration officials.

Del Rosario filed the communication against Xi before the ICC along with former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. Morales was also held for questioning at Hong Kong Airport last month.

Both Del Rosario and Morales accused China of bullying in portions of the South China Sea where both the Philippines and China have overlapping claims.

Guevarra said Del Rosario should have learned from what happened to Morales.

“But personally, I believe that the lesson derived from former Ombudsman Morales’ similar experience should have been clear to him,” he said.

Del Rosario led the country’s arbitration case against China over the disputed waters. The Hague decided in favor of the Philippines in July 2016.

Read more: Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Del Rosario stopped by HK immigration