News / Asia

Hong Kong Warns of Sanctions on Philippines Over Hostage Tragedy

FILE - Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying attends the opening ceremony of the Business of Design Week in Hong Kong, Dec. 6, 2012.
FILE - Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying attends the opening ceremony of the Business of Design Week in Hong Kong, Dec. 6, 2012.
Reuters
Hong Kong threatened to impose unspecified economic sanctions on the Philippines on Tuesday if substantial progress was not made within a month regarding talks demanding Manila's apology and compensation for a hostage tragedy three years ago.
 
Hong Kong and the Philippines have close economic ties, from tourism to the more than 100,000 Filipino domestic helpers working in the city, but tension remains over a 2010 incident in which eight Hong Kong tourists were killed in Manila by a sacked police officer.
 
Speaking ahead of a debate by lawmakers calling for sanctions against the Philippines, Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying urged the Philippine government to provide a “concrete and timely response”.
 
“I declare that unless we obtain steady progress within a month, the [Hong Kong] government will take necessary sanctions action,” said Leung.
 
Leung did not specify what the sanctions might be. Hong Kong has sought an apology and compensation for the victims' families.
 
Philippine foreign ministry spokesman Raul Hernandez said Manila hoped the hostage row would not affect the current visa-free arrangement for Filipinos travelling to Hong Kong.
 
“We look forward to the continued healthy exchange of travelers from both sides,” said Hernandez.
 
Another possibility could be a freeze on domestic helpers, similar to a move made by Taiwan this year following the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine coastguard.
 
The Taiwan sanctions were dropped in August, however, after Manila gave a formal apology for the fisherman's death.
 
Leung, who took office last July and has since seen his approval ratings plummet over contentious policies and scandals engulfing his ruling team, was criticized last month for not taking a stronger stance with Manila.
 
Meanwhile, Philippine President Benigno Aquino has so far ruled out apologizing for the tragedy or a day-long rescue operation that left several injured in addition to the dead tourists.
 
Manila could not apologize for the crimes of one person, he reportedly said at the time.
 
Manila City Councilor Bernardito Ang, a representative of Manila mayor Joseph Estrada, was also recently in Hong Kong seeking to defuse the row.
 
The tragedy occurred in 2010 when a busload of Hong Kong tourists in Manila were taken hostage by a disgruntled former policeman, Rolando Mendoza, who had just been fired.
 
Following a prolonged standoff and negotiations, watched on live television by thousands in Hong Kong, the gunman opened fire after what the victims' families maintain was a bungled rescue effort.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More