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Holding ex-Ombudsman Morales in HK an act of ‘strong-arming’ by China — UP law alumni group

The University of the Philippines Law Alumni Association on Monday expressed "serious concern" on former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales being held at the Hong Kong airport last week.

In a statement, the association said the incident "bares another act of strong-arming by China in its slow and creeping invasion of Philippine sovereign maritime zones recognized by an International Tribunal constituted under the Untied Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea."

Morales, also a retired Supreme Court justice, was barred entry to Hong Kong and held at the airport last May 21 for "immigration reasons."

Officials later allowed her in, but she decided to return with her family to Manila in the evening of the same day.

"This recent incident, involving no less than a former Ombudsman and Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court, is a cause for grave alarm for our Nation and every Filipino," the UP Law Alumni Association said in the statement.

They also called for "vigilance and patriotism" to support the former Ombudsman and urged the government to be "more proactive in defending the rights of our sovereign nation and every Filipino from unwarranted intrusions."

Last March, Morales and former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario filed a communication against Chinese president Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials for crimes against humanity in connection with Beijing's activities to gain control over most of the South China Sea. — Nicole-Anne C. Lagrimas/RSJ, GMA News