Carpio Morales after nixed HK trip: 'Spirit of my family has been broken'


Posted at May 21 2019 10:17 PM | Updated as of May 22 2019 08:58 AM

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MANILA (UPDATED) —Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales returned to the Philippines Tuesday night after being initially barred from entering Hong Kong.

Carpio Morales arrived in Manila past 9 p.m. on a Philippine Airlines flight.

She was received by former Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert Del Rosario and lawyer Anne Marie Corominas, who represented her on the filing of a criminal case against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court.

Carpio Morales and her family arrived in Hong Kong at 12:20 p.m. Tuesday for a vacation, but she was disallowed by immigration officers from leaving the airport and entering the territory.

She was allowed entry to the territory 3 hours later, but Carpio Morales decided to "just go back to the Philippines," according to Germinia Aguilar-Usudan, deputy consul general of the Philippines in Hong Kong.

In an ambush interview upon their arrival in Manila, Carpio Morales said they decided to go back home because their spirit were "broken" after the incident.

"The spirit of my family has been broken. I'm just too enervated to stay in Hong Kong and enjoy. My family said, oh we will be on constant watch by the people in Hong Kong so we decided to come back," she said.

Hong Kong immigration officials did not cite any reason for barring her from entering the special Chinese administrative region, Aguilar-Usudan said.

Corominas, however, slammed the Hong Kong immigration agency's decision to consider the former Ombudsman a "security threat."

"How is a 78-year old former anti-corruption ombudswoman a security threat in HK-China?" she said.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Carpio Morales may have been barred from entering Hong Kong because of the ICC case.

--With reports from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News; Raoul Esperas