Morales, a security risk? She’s a good ballroom dancer – Panelo
MANILA, Philippines — Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales may be a security risk for Hong Kong authorities, but Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo sees her as a once law schoolmate who is a remarkable ballroom dancer.
Morales’ lawyer Anne Marie Corominas has said the ex-Ombudsman was barred from entering Hong Kong on Tuesday, with immigration officers citing the 78-year-old was a “security threat.”
Asked in a Palace briefing on how he regards Morales, Panelo said: “She’s a Filipino citizen, and a member of the bar, and a good friend of mine years back in the College of Law. She was fourth year, and I was freshman.”
“Magaling ‘yan magsayaw. Magaling mag-ballroom. Naisayaw ko na ‘yan sa ballroom,” he added.
Morales told reporters upon her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 2 Tuesday night that she was held for four hours by Hong Kong authorities, citing “immigration reasons.”
Morales, who – along with former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario – had filed a complaint against China at the International Criminal Court, condemned her “detention” as bullying.
“Let me say this: We said that we will be providing government assistance to all those in need abroad, and the first thing that I did when I heard about it coming from some of you, I called up the former Ombudsman. We talked on the phone. She told me na tinawagan na nga kaagad siya ng consulate. In other words, talagang tinutulungan natin,” Panelo said.
He said Morales told him that she was not mistreated.
“Now parang ang gusto yata ng iba, bumanat tayo. But you know, tinanong ko si ano, ‘Kumusta naman ang trato sa’yo?’ Kasi kung binastos siya, kung ministreat siya, hindi pupwede sa atin ‘yan, we will definitely protest. Pero hindi naman. Tinanong lang siya kung ano’ng… Whatever. Pero wala naman siyang reklamo na binastos siya diba? Naiinis lang siya, nayayamot lang siya kasi nasira ‘yung plano niya for the grandchildren,” he said. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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