Duterte to Del Rosario: ‘No business using diplomatic passport’
Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario had “no business” using his diplomatic passport in his recent attempt to enter Hong Kong, President Duterte said on Thursday.
“When you are no longer an employee of government, you have no business using a government diplomatic passport,” Duterte said during the Presidential Security Group’s 122nd anniversary at the Malacañang Park on Wednesday night.
The remarks were in reference to Del Rosario’s failure to enter Hong Kong on June 21 after he was barred by immigration authorities despite his diplomatic passport.
The former official was supposed to attend a board meeting but was deported back to Manila that same day.
Del Rosario, along with former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales who was similarly held and questioned by Hong Kong immigration authorities, is a complainant in a case filed against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court.
Del Rosario protested his detention, saying it was a violation of the Vienna Convention, which defines the framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. later decided to revoke all courtesy diplomatic passports issued to former diplomats and ex-foreign affairs secretaries as a result of the incident.
But Vice President Leni Robredo protested Locsin’s move and said that it did not fulfill the three conditions under Section 8(b) of Republic Act No. 8239, or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996, which provides concrete grounds for the cancellation of diplomatic passports. Del Rosario was not convicted of a criminal offense; is not a fugitive from justice, and did not acquire his passport fraudulently, the Vice President said.
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