Palace deplores HK decision on visa sanction
MANILA, Philippines— Two days before Hong Kong is set to end visa-free visits by holders of official Philippine government passports, Malacañang on Monday expressed regret on the sanction, describing it a path away from common understanding.
The visa-free visits will still be enjoyed by ordinary Filipino travelers.
Herminio Coloma, Presidential Communications Operations Office secretary, on Monday afternoon said that the decision of the Hong Kong government to revoke the visa-free privilege of Philippine government officials to enter China’s special administrative region is a “misstep” on their path to common understanding.
According to Coloma, the series of talks between President Benigno Aquino III and Hong Kong Chief Executive paved the way for the development of understanding for the Philippines and Hong Kong after the Quirino Grandstand hostage-taking that killed eight Hong Kong nationals.
“If they have done such a thing, we are stepping away from the path instead of going for a common ground, we are moving away from that,” Coloma, in a media briefing, said in Filipino. “That is how we look at their actions.”
Coloma, however, said that Malacañang is still hopeful that both nations would get into an agreement.
“Our approach is to continue on the path of seeking a solution and that is where we continue to be until the present time,” Coloma said.
He added that once the Philippine government understands the position of the HK government, the understanding would be “the key” for the complete closure of the issue.
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