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HK still open to talks with Philippines over apology
Publication Date : 11-02-2014
The Hong Kong (HK) Special Administrative Region (SAR) is still open to negotiating with the Philippines regarding the demand of the victims of the Manila hostage incident four years ago for a formal apology.
A report from HK SAR government’s Information Services Department (ISD) said that Lai Tung-kwok, Secretary for Security, would continue discussions to resolve the tragic incident.
“Secretary for Security TK Lai says he would not rule out any possible actions that could help resolve the Manila hostage tragedy,” the HK ISD said in a report.
“Speaking to the media, he said the Government would continue discussions with the Philippine authorities to reach agreement on the victims’ and their families’ four demands – including the request for an apology,” it said.
Lai however refused to disclose whether there would be more sanctions imposed against the Philippines after it cancelled visa-free arrangements for Philippine government officials and diplomatic passport holders.
HK SAR Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying previously announced that it would impose the “first phase” of sanctions against the Philippines over the failure to issue a formal apology to the victims of the 2010 Manila hostage crisis where seven Hong Kong tourists were killed by a disgruntled former police man – Rolando Mendoza.
Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said a day after the announcement of sanctions that HK SAR’s demand for a formal apology from the Philippines was something that it “is not prepared to consider”.
Hernandez called the sanctions “unfortunate” saying that there was already a “substantive closure” to the incident three years ago with the previous government of HK SAR.