Palace says no "mistreatment" by Hong Kong vs ex-Ombudsman Morales that warrants filing of protest
Malacanang said on Thursday there was no "mistreatment" by the Hong Kong authorities against former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales that would prompt the government to file a protest.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he immediately called up Morales when he learned she was stopped by Hong Kong immigration when she and her family members arrived in China's administrative region on Wednesday.
"Apparently, other people want us to hit (Hong Kong). But you know, I asked (Morales) 'How was their treatment to you?' Because if she was disrespected, if she was mistreated, we would not allow it. We will definitely protest, but it's not," he said.
"She was only asked, whatever. She did not complain that she was disrespected. She's just pissed off because her plan for he grandchildren was destroyed," Panelo said.
Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros has dared Malacanang to protest what Hong Kong did to Morales.
Except for reportedly saying the 78-year old Morales was a "security risk," Hong Kong did not say why she was initially barred from entering China's territory.
Morales and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario earlier filed a complaint against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court for alleged crime against humanity.
They said because of China's construction of artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea, this adversely affects and injures vulnerable fishermen, including the 320,000 Filipino fisher folk as well as present and future generations.
Panelo said he did not want to speculate if Hong Kong's action against Morales had something to do with her filing of complaint before the ICC against Xi.
But he said during his conversation with Morales, she vowed "the more she will pursue the complaint" and to further advocate her cause against China.
Asked how the Palace would label Morales, whether she could be considered as a dissenter or destabilizer, Panelo said, "She's a Filipino citizen, a member of the Bar and a good friend of mine years back in (UP) college of law."
He recalled that when Morales was a fourth year student, he was freshman.
He also noted that the former Ombudsman was good in ballroom dancing as he was able to partner with her on the dance floor. Celerina Monte/DMS