Pinoy arrested in Hong Kong for alleged protest participation


Posted at Aug 04 2019 12:55 PM | Updated as of Aug 05 2019 09:37 AM

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MANILA -- (UPDATE) A Filipino has been arrested in Hong Kong for allegedly participating in protests for democratic reforms.

Germinia Aguilar-Usudan, deputy Philippine consul general in Hong Kong, said the Filipino has requested not to be identified because "he’s quite worried about the health of his mother."

The Filipino, who was arrested at 11 p.m. Saturday in Mong Kok for wearing a black shirt, is being assisted by two pro-bono Hong Kong lawyers, Usudan said.

"He said he was on his way to get some food last night and unfortunately he was wearing black and he’s not part of the rally," Usudan told ANC's Dateline Philippines.

The diplomat said no charges have been filed yet against the Filipino and they are waiting for the outcome of police investigation, which may be released Sunday afternoon.

The Filipino's arrest was the first since protests began in the Chinese special administrative region, Usudan said.

"This is the first time we experienced an arrest of a Filipino allegedly involved in a rally. We will continue to advise our citizens to avoid this area and preferably to avoid using black or white t-shirts," she said.

Eman Villanueva, secretary-general of Bayan Muna Hong Kong, said the arrest was a case of mistaken identity.

"He was just passing by Mong Kok on his way home when the police charged and ran after some of the protesters. It just so happened he was on the same road so he got arrested," he told ANC.

Thousands of black-clad protesters marched Saturday in Hong kong's Mong Kok shopping district, setting up barricades and blocked roads, forcing stores to close.

More protests are planned Sunday and activists are calling for a city-wide strike on Monday.

Villanueva, meanwhile, shut down rumors that the Hong Kong government is planning to declare martial law.

"There are images or memes going around social media. I just want to say these are rumors and unverified reports, there is no basis to claims. Consulted locals, they say there is no such thing," he said.