Consulate cautions Pinoys in Hong Kong over Oct. 1 protest

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2019 05:08 AM

A protester films a fire at the entrance of MTR Central Station in Hong Kong, China on Sept. 8, 2019. Anushree Fadnavis, Reuters/File

MANILA—The Philippine Consulate General has warned Filipinos in Hong Kong to stay away from protest areas as police expect more violence during the 70th anniversary of communist rule in China Tuesday.

Filipinos should avoid Tamar Park in Admiralty, Causeway Bay until Central, Wong Tai Sin, Sham Shui Po, Mongkok, Sha Tin, Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan, the consulate said.

The consulate also urged Filipinos to refrain from wearing or carry anything that could mistakenly identify them as part of the protest.

"Stay home if possible. Don't wear black or white T-shirts," it said.

Those with queries may call the following Hong Kong hotline: (+852) 9155-4023.

The Chinese territory remains on edge ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic on Oct. 1, with authorities eager to avoid scenes that could embarrass the central government in Beijing as activists plan mass protests.

In some of the worst and most widespread violence in more than 3 months of anti-government unrest, the Asian financial hub marked the fifth anniversary over the weekend of the start of the "Umbrella" protests, a series of pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014 that failed to wrestle concessions from Beijing.

Protesters are angry about what they see as creeping interference by Beijing in their city's affairs despite a promise of autonomy when British rule ended in 1997.

The trigger for the protests was planned legislation, now withdrawn, that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial, despite Hong Kong having its own much-respected independent judiciary.

The protests have since broadened into calls for universal suffrage.—With report from Reuters