MANILA — Filipinos are free to travel to Hong Kong amid ongoing demonstrations but are urged to stay away from areas of conflict, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.
Areas that should be avoided are Central, Admiralty, Tim Mei Avenue, Lung Wei Road, Causeway Bay, Mongkok, Wan Chai and the government headquarters in Tamar, DFA spokesman Charles Jose said.
Filipinos were also discouraged to steer clear of these areas on October 1 and 2 as protests may escalate on these dates in commemoration of China’s national day.
Angry protesters launched a national civil disobedience campaign on September 28 to denounce China’s decision to field Beijing-vetted candidates in the 2017 elections for Hong Kong Chief Executive.
Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of China after it was handed back to China by Britain in 1997 after a 157 years of colonial rule.
As many protesters refused to back down and police were ordered to disperse them, the Philippine government called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“We hope both sides will express views in a peaceful manner,” Jose said as he urged Filipinos against joining the rallies.
Those who will be caught joining in any civil disturbance activity in Hong Kong will be fined HK $ 5,000 and/or imprisoned for 12 months, Jose said.