Philippines may relocate consular services in HK if protests worsen

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2019 10:06 AM

MANILA -- The Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong may relocate its office to an area away from the protest sites in the Admiralty government center should demonstrations worsen, a Filipino diplomat said Thursday.

About 70 people were injured as thousands of Hong Kong residents blocked major thoroughfares to postpone a debate on the Beijing-backed bill that would allow extraditions to China.

"In case it goes on and if the situation worsens, we would probably have to suspend our operations at the consulate and consider doing other services in a nearby building in Wan Chai where our Filipino overseas labor office is situated," Morales told ANC's Market Edge.

The labor office is "a little further away from Admiralty," the center of mass protests, he said.

The Philippine consulate earlier urged Filipinos in Hong Kong to stay away from demonstration sites and "exercise extreme caution and vigilance."

The recent rallies in Hong Kong was an unprecedented escalation of the conflict, political analyst Dixon Sing told Agence France-Presse.

"In terms of the level of violence, today has been the most serious since the 1997 handover," he said citing the sustained use of tear gas, rubber bullets and bean bag rounds, as well as the willingness of protesters to take on the police.