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.
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.