PH lifts ban on 9 Hong Kong journalists
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has lifted a ban against nine Hong Kong-based journalists, following criticism from media and Hong Kong’s government.
A Hong Kong television cameraman was denied entry at Manila’s airport Thursday and given a copy of the June order banning him and eight others from entering the country and covering the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the Philippines. The order said the ban was imposed because the journalists heckled Philippine President Benigno Aquino III at the Apec summit last year in Indonesia.
The Philippines’ immigration bureau said Tuesday the order was lifted on the recommendation of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).
“Following normal protocol, the BI heavily relied on the advice of the NICA to lift the blacklist as NICA is presumed to be in a better position to know the facts surrounding the initial finding of undesirability and subsequent reversal of such finding,” Elaine Tan, Bureau of Immigration spokesperson, said.
The Hong Kong Journalists Association said the journalists were just doing their job in asking Aquino about the 2010 killing of eight Hong Kong tourists in Manila.
With the lifting of the blacklist, Tan said the foreign journalists can now enter the Philippines as tourists, subject to regular immigration inspection.
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