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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid