Filipino nabbed during Hong Kong protest receives assistance

MANILA The Filipino who was detained for allegedly joining the protests in Hong Kong has already received initial assistance from the Philippine government, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.

The agency did not identify the Filipino but said he is in good condition when representatives from the Philippine Consulate General visited him at the jail.

The Filipino categorically denied that he was taking part in the protest, and insisted that he was just in the area to buy food, passing through the side streets.

"However, protesters were also on the side street where he was, and the former started running as they were chased by riot police," the DFA, through Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Fernandez, shared through a bulletin.

The Filipino was eventually accosted by the police in the belief that he was one of the protesters. Currently, the Consulate General is in close coordination with authorities and the Filipino's lawyers to facilitate his release.

According to the DFA, the Filipino is under investigation for "unlawful assembly" in line with his alleged participation in the rallies.

"But the Consulate General is making sure that his legal rights and his assertions of innocence are duly respected," it stressed.

Last June, a demonstration has turned violent over an extradition bill which critics believe would violate the territory's autonomy. Since then, widespread protests continue to spill in the streets of Hong Kong as pro-democracy demonstrators clash with local law enforcers.

In relation, the DFA advised Filipinos to stay alert and avoid areas of protest and to refrain from wearing or carrying anything that could mistakenly identify them as part of the protest action.

"The Consulate General continues to monitor the situation in Hong Kong and is ready to provide assistance to Filipinos if needed," it said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency