Sotto on ex-DFA chief's passport trouble in HK: 'He was asking for it'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 27 2019 11:14 AM

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Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III on Thursday said former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario was "asking for" trouble when he supposedly "misused" his courtesy diplomatic passport during a business trip to Hong Kong.

The 79-year-old Del Rosario last June 21 was barred from entering the semi-autonomous region under Beijing, about a month after he and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales filed a communication against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court.

"I think he (Del Rosario) was asking for it. You filed a case against the President of their country and you try to enter their country, I think they would be very apprehensive about your presence there automatically," Sotto told ANC.

He also said Del Rosario's courtesy diplomatic passport "was misused" because the former official "was not on official mission" when he went to Hong Kong.

Del Rosario's successor, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., said he will cancel all diplomatic passports of former government officials.

"The way the government is handling it is just the right way," said Sotto.

Del Rosario has denied misusing his passport and said he will not question Locsin's move.

But on Sunday, he said the Philippines was disrespected when Hong Kong authorities deported him because his diplomatic passport carries the seal of the republic.

Del Rosario and Morales' ICC communication against Xi cites Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea. The former ombudsman was also held for questioning at Hong Kong Airport last May.

ANC, June 27, 2019