News / Asia

Hong Kong Calls for Philippines Travel Ban

FILE - A local policeman offers flowers to the victims of the Manila bus hostage crisis in 2010 at the Luneta Park in Manila on August 23, 2013.
FILE - A local policeman offers flowers to the victims of the Manila bus hostage crisis in 2010 at the Luneta Park in Manila on August 23, 2013.
Simone Orendain
A diplomatic controversy between the Philippines and Hong Kong is growing, after Hong Kong lawmakers approved a measure late Thursday night that would place visa restrictions on Philippine citizens. Hong Kong wants an official apology from Manila over a botched hostage rescue attempt three years ago that left eight Hong Kong nationals dead and wounded seven others.

To press Manila for concessions, the Hong Kong Legislative Council passed a measure that would revoke the ability of Philippine passport holders to go in and out of Hong Kong without a visa.

The Hong Kong Council also proposed a ban on work visas for Filipino domestic workers seeking new contracts starting in April. It also wants to limit the time that workers renewing their contracts can stay and do away with contract extensions.

Besides an official apology, lawmakers want Manila to give compensation to the victims and family members of those who were killed, penalize officials directly involved and put measures in place to guarantee tourists’ safety.

The Philippines has not made an apology.

Last month, President Benigno Aquino said that the act of one individual who was “probably mentally unstable at the time should not be construed as the act of the entire country.”

Philippine presidential spokesman Sonny Coloma reiterated in a regular briefing Friday “both sides are working quietly to address these concerns and reach a satisfactory conclusion.”

The administration is calling on citizens to keep their spirits up and not to worry because the government is working hard in their interest and for their welfare, he said.

This week, Beijing for the first time weighed in on the issue. A foreign ministry spokesman urged the Philippines to “earnestly respond” to Hong Kong’s demands.

In August 2010, a heavily armed former police officer hijacked a tour bus of Hong Kong nationals at a popular Manila park and demanded his job back. SWAT officers botched an ambush-style rescue attempt, when the disgruntled officer, Rolando Mendoza found out about it and fired shots that killed eight and wounded seven Hong Kong nationals. The saga was broadcast around the world.

Some victims and family members returned to Manila a year after the incident demanding an official apology from President Aquino. He did not offer one but instead reiterated messages of condolence and sympathy and said government was looking into compensation.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: d from: hk
November 14, 2013 3:08 AM
In the case of Taiwan, it was the Philippine coast guard that was responsible and made the error. They are under the military, under the national government.
In the case of the hostage crisis, it was a crazy criminal that committed the crime. Yes, the inept Manila police tried but failed and may even have contributed to the tragic outcome. But they are under the Manila city government, and the Manila city government through their local officials have apologized and offered amends. Why insist on the President of the country to do so? If you want to impose sanctions that's your opinion. But why take it out on Filipinos as a people? Why single out Filipinos legally and peacefully living and working in HK?


by: Marshal Bonifacio from: Utopia
November 11, 2013 9:51 AM
Mr. Jonathan Huang, well you can call that stupid, however, since you have opened that up maybe I can say this, China has been known for Opium, The Tiananmen Square killings, the territory grabbing, for copyright infringement, for copying illegally, for being rude, for being uncivilised, for being unhygienic, for being godless, I have stated this based on history and the attitudes of some CHinese tourists in the Philippines, TAKE NOTE: TOURISTS!!! by the way HK wouldn't be like it is today if it weren't for the British. So tell me who is stupid.


by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
November 10, 2013 1:07 PM
So now Filipinos has issues with all Taiwan, mainland and hongkong! How stupid is that? How hard is a sincere apologize to be made? Stupid is the right word for them!


by: John
November 09, 2013 11:01 AM
Now that Phils was battered by Super Typhoon Haiyan, HK Legislative Council must have been happy...their measure adds salt to the wound.


by: susan solomon from: hongkong
November 09, 2013 3:43 AM
hongkong people are so unreasonable ,.


by: ian
November 08, 2013 7:26 PM
if an entire nation is to apologize for the act of a single person, hiw many times should HK govt apologize ti the PH for the abused OFW in HK?


by: Ryan from: Singapore
November 08, 2013 12:34 PM
In that case there will be a visa required to all filipino citizen and if that is final when will be implemented?


by: sir ed from: Bacoor, Cavite
November 08, 2013 11:30 AM
While Filipinos sympathize with the victims of this senseless tragedy, and would even agree that some form of reparations is in order, I think most of us stand behind the government in refusing to give in to the victims' demands. Many people I've talked to think that doing so would deepen the humiliation and embarrassment felt by Filipinos over the incident, and we refuse to be demonized as a whole for the actions of one man or for the mistakes of the people who responded to this crisis.

Maybe in the end the Philippine government would give in, to save the jobs of the thousands of Filipinos working there, but most Filipinos would seethe at what is perceived to be Hong Kong's arrogance. It would poison relations for a very long time, and in fact most Filipinos, except of course those who have relatives working in Hong Kong, would rather endure sanctions than national humiliation.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid