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DOJ: Hong Kong immigration not required to cite reason for barring foreigners

/ 02:37 PM June 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Hong Kong immigration authorities are under no obligation to disclose why a foreigner is barred from entry and have “absolute prerogative” to disallow one from entering their territory, Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary and spokesperson Markk Perete said Monday.

“Before the entry of an alien to a territory, the prerogatives of the host territory is absolute. So for whatever reason, it may exclude an alien,” Perete said in an interview with ABS-CBN Channel on Monday.

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“Now in the case of former [Foreign Affairs] Secretary [Albert] Del Rosario, my understanding is he’s disallowed to enter, so at that point, Hong Kong officials have the absolute prerogative to disallow or to entertain his request to enter the territory,” he added.

Speaking with reporters when he arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Friday, six hours after he was held and questioned at the Hong Kong International Airport, Del Rosario said the immigration officers were not able to give him a clear reason why he was denied entry.

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“Every time I ask ‘What are we here for? Why are we being detained?’ Their response was: It’s an immigration reason,” he said.

But Perete said immigration officials are not obliged to disclose the reason why an alien is denied entry.

“Even our Bureau of Immigration would most often not give a specific reason. The general description of it being an immigration concern would normally suffice,” he said.

Del Rosario also has attributed his ordeal to the communication he and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales filed against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court.

Morales suffered a similar ordeal last May 21 when Hong Kong immigration authorities held her for being a “security threat.”

READ: Morales suffers 4-hour ordeal in Hong Kong

However, Perete said the reason why Del Rosario was barred entry to China’s special administrative region is still a “subject of speculation.”

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“Well, that could be the rationalization that could be arrived at by someone like former Secretary Del Rosario who was disallowed entry because he filed that complaint,” Perete further said.

“But there could be various other reasons, and because the Hong Kong authorities are not obligated to disclose the reason why he was disallowed then that is subject to speculation at this point,” he added. (Editor: Eden Estopace)

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TAGS: Albert del Rosario, DoJ, Hong Kong immigration
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