Press Release
June 21, 2019


I condemn the detention of Former DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario in Hong Kong by the Chinese authorities.

As what was done to former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales last May, the act is a clear case of harassment and retaliation for the filing of charges against the Chinese government before the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding its alleged crimes against humanity in the West Philippine Sea.

It could also be a response to Secretary del Rosario's criticism of the proposed joint Philippines-China investigation on the Recto Bank hit-and-run incident.

Sasabihin din ba ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na aksidente lamang ito at isang maliit na bagay? Kung sa Recto Bank ang binangga ay ang bangka ng ating mga maliliit na mangingisda, dito, ang binangga ng gobyernong Tsina ay ating pambansang dignidad.

Iniisa-isa na ba ng gobyernong Tsina ang lahat ng Pilipino na tumitindig at lumalaban para sa soberanya at teritoryo ng ating bansa? How long will this government stay silent and allow our nation, our fisherfolk, and now our respected civil servants, to be harassed? Hanggang kailan pahihintulutan ito ng isang Pangulong may taglay daw na "tapang at malasakit?"

I urge the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to stand by Secretary del Rosario. It should immediately inquire as to why Secretary del Rosario was detained, determine whether diplomatic protocols were violated as he was reportedly travelling with a diplomatic passport and take the appropriate diplomatic actions if ever protocols were breached.

I also urge the DFA to follow up on its inquiry on to why former Ombudsman Carpio-Morales was detained last month. We should not let these forms of intimidation pass unchallenged.

Finally, I call on the Filipino people to pressure the Duterte administration to implement a foreign policy that truly protects the Filipino people and is reflective of our interests. It is now clear that President Duterte's subservient policy to China has failed to protect our territories, fisherfolk and public leaders, and if we continue on this course, it will spell disaster for our country.

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