MANILA, Philippines – No reports of Filipinos being injured in the ongoing mass demonstrations in Hong Kong have been received by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), officials said.
“We are monitoring closely the situation in Hong Kong to ensure the safety of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) there. Our position is that we hope both sides will express their views in a peaceful manner,” DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Charles Jose told members of the press on Monday.
Pro-democracy demonstrators, numbering in the thousands, gathered at a major thoroughfare – disrupting traffic, bus routes and subway operations – near government offices on Sunday to decry China’s decision to limit political reforms in the semi-autonomous city. The protest targets, in particular, the ramifications to the elections in 2017.
Filipinos in Hong Kong have been strongly urged by the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong to avoid going to, and taking part in, the demonstrations. The consulate pointed out specific areas to avoid as: Causeway Bay, the Wan Chai nightlife district and the harbor in Mong Kok on the Kowloon peninsula.
“Our consulate is equipped and capable of taking care of the welfare and safety of our Filipinos there,” he said; in response to questions about contingency plans should violence break out.
There are approximately 185,000 Filipinos living and working in the city of Hong Kong