‘Mahiya naman kayo!’ Disgusted de Lima slams gov’t after Morales ordeal
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday said she was “appalled and disgusted” over the entry denial of former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales in Hong Kong.
Morales flew into Hong Kong on Tuesday for a vacation with her family but was barred from entering the Chinese special administrative region for being a “security threat.” The former Ombudsman was deported later that day.
“Like many others, I am appalled and disgusted upon learning of the events that transpired at the Hong Kong airport concerning the denial of entry of former SC Justice and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales,” De Lima said in a statement.
De Lima, one of the fiercest critics of the Duterte administration, said Morales’ entry denial and detention in Hong Kong only showed how “authoritarian regimes” react to their critics.
“This incident is but another proof that authoritarian regimes are as vindictive and unreasonable as they can be. They either kill, jail or harass no end critics, dissenters and other perceived enemies,” De Lima said.
“It is a testament to Ombudsman Morales’ fortitude that the ordeal caused her nothing more than an annoyance, choosing to leave voluntarily even after she was later allowed entry,” the senator added.
The senator also called for the government to treat the incident as nothing less than a national issue and urged the government to follow Morales who “has served this country with the honor and dignity befitting a public servant of the highest order.”
“This incident must not be reduced into a personal affront to which the government should have no say. It should instead be considered by our government as a signal that the Del Rosario-Morales complaint vs. Chinese President Xi Jinping over “crimes against humanity” is being treated as a serious matter, and it should thus do the same,” De Lima said.
“Ombudsman Morales spoke up and stood for the Philippines, and was, in turn, considered a risk, held at immigration and considered for deportation. Meanwhile, in the Philippines – our corals are being destroyed, our clams are being stolen, our jobs are being taken, our marine territory is being wrongfully claimed, but still with open arms and without qualms, we invite and welcome China, and even enter questionable loans with it.”
She added: “Mahiya naman kayo! Ombudsman Morales has served this country with the honor and dignity befitting a public servant of the highest order. I suggest you do the same.”
Morales arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday night after being deported from Hong Kong.
Morales said that the ordeal, which she said was a form of bullying, would not make her less vocal regarding Chinese policies affecting the Philippines.
It will be recalled that Morales, who along with former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, filed a case against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court over the “atrocious actions of Chinese officials in the South China Sea and within Philippine territory.”
“I’ll be the same. I will be vocal in the same manner as I have been vocal before,” Morales told reporters upon her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.