PH to Hong Kong: Be sober, reflect on sanction

Posted at 02/05/2014 6:23 PM | Updated as of 02/05/2014 6:23 PM

MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) called on Hong Kong officials to be rational about its actions against the Philippines as a result of the Manila bus hostage crisis in 2010.

Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Raul Hernandez said: “We call on the Hong Kong authorities to be sober and to reflect rationally on this issue.”

Hong Kong earlier cancelled the visa-free privileges of government officials and diplomats. Some sectors fear another retort from Hong Kong after President Aquino was quoted by The New York Times that the country will not apologize for the incident.

“Mr. Aquino said he had no plans to apologize, saying that doing so could create a legal liability and noting that China had not paid compensation to the families of Filipinos who have died in episodes there,” The New York Times reported.

Hernandez assured that Filipinos in Hong Kong will be protected. “In line with Philippine Foreign Policy, we are committed to protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of overseas Filipinos in Hong Kong."

He said: “We have done everything possible to resolve the issue and reach agreement. It will be unfortunate if the victims and their families will not be able to accept more generous gestures of solidarity from the Filipino people.”

He said that if Hong Kong finally accepts these gestures, the country “is willing to convey these gestures for the benefit of the affected families as soon as possible.”

Eight Hong Kong tourists died after a policeman seized a tourist bus and held the bus riders hostage. The policeman killed as authorities attempted to rescue the passengers.