Hong Kong lawmaker: Denial of PH Ombudsman’s entry ‘unreasonable, barbaric’

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Ted Hui Chi-fung, a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, said political, not security, reasons were used to bar former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales from entering Hong Kong.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 22) — A Hong Kong legislator slammed the decision of immigration authorities to bar former Philippine Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales from entering China's autonomous territory, calling the move “unreasonable” and a departure from the rule of law.

“Looks like political reasons rather than security reasons were considered,” legislator Ted Hui Chi-fung said in a statement Tuesday. "Under the ‘one country, two systems’ policy, the Hong Kong government has no legal basis to consider the court case that has nothing to do with Hong Kong.”

Hui, a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, was referring to a complaint filed last March by Morales and former Foreign Affairs chief Albert Del Rosario before the International Criminal Court against Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials for “crimes against humanity” in the conduct of activities in the West Philippine Sea, which is claimed both by the Philippines and China.

The lawmaker said the court and not immigration authorities should be making decisions on legal matters.

“Deportation based on a court case is plain barbaric,” Hui stressed.

Hui is a member of the Democratic Party, which advocates economic cooperation with Mainland China while recognizing Hong Kong's administrative independence.

China's "one country, two systems" policy attempts to unify previously colonized, now autonomous regions -- such as Hong Kong and Macau -- with Beijing's central government.

Morales arrived with family members -- her husband, son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren -- in Hong Kong on the morning of May 21 for a holiday. Immigration officers, however, separated her from her family and detained her. The feisty former Supreme Court justice was asked to sign several documents in relation to her detention.

While Morales was kept in the dark on the reason for her detention, her legal counsel said she was told the former anti-corruption official was a “security threat.”

Morales and her companions were eventually allowed entry, but they chose to return to Manila that evening instead.