Former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales (File photos)
BANGKOK -- Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Saturday said former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario's experience in Hong Kong could not be compared to that of former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales as the former's case could be more on his use of an official travel document.
Del Rosario was denied entry by Hong Kong authorities earlier this week.
In a statement, Panelo said while both del Rosario and Morales were not allowed to enter Hong Kong, the circumstances appeared to be different.
“(U)nlike the case of former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Mr. del Rosario may have misused a diplomatic passport in his travel to Hong Kong, a trip which is private in nature and is in no way related to government or foreign service,” he said.
Morales was barred for allegedly being a security threat.
Panelo said being a former “Chief Diplomat”, del Rosario should have known that the improper use of diplomatic passports was not right.
“Mr. del Rosario should have known or have been alerted to the proper use of diplomatic passports and other travel documents. Moreover, given the experience of the former Ombudsman, Mr. del Rosario should have been prudent enough to ensure that Hong Kong, a Chinese Special Administrative Region, has no objection to his entry,” he added.
Panelo said Hong Kong's action could not be questioned because “any country has the authority and the right to bar entry (for) any foreign national to its territory.”
Even then, he said that the Hong Kong consular office “continues to provide assistance to Mr. del Rosario, like all other Filipinos who may find themselves in distress abroad” despite his “penchant to capitalize and politicize issues related to PRRD’s (President Rodrigo R. Duterte's) foreign policy towards China.”
“(H)e remains a Filipino citizen entitled to protection and assistance from the Philippine government,” Panelo added. (PNA)