HK insists on PH apology, warns of more sanctions
MANILA, Philippines – Hong Kong warned the Philippines that it will implement further sanctions unless the demand for an apology over the failed rescue operation during the 2010 Manila hostage crisis is met.
HK chief executive Leung Chun-yin said in a press conference Tuesday that its demand is for the Philippine government to apologize for the lapses of officials in handling the rescue operation and not for the acts of former policeman Rolando Mendoza.
“[The victims and their families] are seeking an apology from the Philippine government for the failure and lapses of their officials in handling the rescue operation during which eight HK residents lost their lives and seven others sustained injuries,” Leung said.
“I urge the Philippine government to demonstrate sincerity and resolve in bringing the discussion to a satisfactory conclusion so that we do not have to implement further sanctions,” he said.
Leung said that their demand for an apology was in line with the findings of the official investigation conducted by the government which found then Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and several police officials had lapses on handling the crisis.
The report recommended the filing of administrative and criminal charges against Manila City officials, police officials, and several others including journalists who got in the way of the operation but none were filed.
HK previously imposed sanctions against the Philippines by cancelling visa-free arrangements for government officials and diplomatic passport holders.
Philippine officials, however, said that it was not considering giving an apology and instead offered further compensation for the victims.
“Our position has been clear and consistent. The door to further discussions between the two sides remain open and the ball is in the Philippine court,” Leung said.
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