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PH won’t retaliate against Hong Kong over visa sanction

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 08:20 PM February 06, 2014

President Benigno Aquino III. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines– The Philippine government does not intend to retaliate against Hong Kong for ending the visa-free arrangements for government officials and diplomatic passport holders.

Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said Thursday that suggestions to retaliate against Hong Kong’s sanction may be “counter-productive.”

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Coloma said that understanding and closure are the guiding principles of the government.

“In situations where there is a difference of opinion, what will bring the parties closer to an understanding and what would lessen trust and understanding? Will retaliatory options bring us closer or move us far away from an understanding?” Coloma said at a media briefing.

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He said the government’s focus is to reach an understanding and help the affected families.

“That is our primary concern,” he said.

Dialogues and conversations that would lead to achieving mutually satisfactory results and closure are still continuing, he said.

“All I can say is that we are purposively pursuing avenues for the possible attainment of closure on this matter. Our focus is on being able to provide direct support to the affected families, which is part of the framework for reaching and understanding,” he said.

The Philippine government, he said, “remains determined” to pursue the attainment of a mutual agreement, adding that the move would be most beneficial to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong.

He reassured Filipinos in Hong Kong that the government is prepared to help them and ensure their rights.

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