• Thu
  • Jul 24, 2014
  • Updated: 9:42pm
NewsHong Kong
MANILA TRAGEDY

Show 'sincerity' over Manila hostage row or face further sanctions, Leung tells Philippines

Blunt response from President Aquino's spokesman as C.Y. Leung asks for sincerity and clarifies what victims' families are seeking

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 February, 2014, 12:08pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 February, 2014, 3:42am
 

"It takes two to tango". That was the response by a spokesman for Philippine President Benigno Aquino to a clarification by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on the type of apology the families of the Manila hostage crisis victims are demanding.

Leung yesterday rejected reports that suggested the families were demanding a personal apology from Aquino for criminal acts committed by sacked police officer Rolando Mendoza in 2010.

"I must explain clearly that the families of the victims are not demanding, and have never demanded, that the Philippine president apologise for the behaviour of the individual," he said.

Watch: Philippine bus hostage-taking incident

"They are seeking an apology from the Philippine government for the failure and lapses of their officials in handling the rescue operation, during which eight Hong Kong residents lost their lives and seven others sustained injuries."

Asked whether it was possible the Philippine government would issue an apology in the light of Leung's clarification, presidential communications secretary Sonny Coloma replied: "We have an alternative [solution] that we are proposing and this is subject to further talks."

He did not elaborate.

He added: "What we are looking at and what we want is closure.

"That's why we're doing everything we can do to reach that.

"And we are also trying to arrive at an understanding, because it takes two to tango."

Mendoza took 22 Hong Kong tourists and three Filipinos captive on a tour bus in 2010.

He shot dead seven tourists and their guide before being killed in a bungled rescue.

Yesterday, Leung also urged the Philippine government to show more sincerity in resolving the incident in order to avoid further sanctions.

The government has already cancelled the 14-day visa-free arrangements for visiting Philippine officials and diplomatic passport holders.

In Manila, city councillor Bernardito Ang, who visited Hong Kong in late October for talks with officials and victims' families, said an apology from the Philippine government was now the only thing holding up the resolution of the impasse.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post yesterday, Ang said he was poised to visit Hong Kong next week because "the mayor [of Manila Joseph Estrada] has asked me to go back to Hong Kong to renegotiate".

"We have to talk to the family members. That's most important," he said, adding that he was arranging a meeting with survivors, their families and Hong Kong officials.

Ang also said that in his previous conversations with some family members, "they said nothing about the president personally apologising".

He said the families had told him in his earlier visit to Hong Kong that "anyone who can represent the national government can apologise for the wrongdoing of the national government officials in the handling of the rescue".

 

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26

This article is now closed to comments

michael.michael.1447342
I suspect later rounds of Sanctions will be coming soon and it's going to hit hard.
Remember what Taiwan's president, Ma Ying Jeou, did after the Philippine Coast laughed and murdered the Taiwanese fisherman in the overlapping EZZ? He immediately halted all OFW hiring and threaten to kick out all the 80,000 OFWs in Taiwan. He sent a tiny fraction of the Taiwanese navy to the exact sport where the fisherman was killed but the coward Philippine Coast Guard ran back to port. He even threaten to halt all trade and impose a travel ban to the Philippines. And lastly, he even sent the Taiwanese Navy to the doorsteps of the Philippines and they couldn't do jack. Guess what? The Philippines came kissing his behind to apologize and compensate the family for the murder.
When you deal with a country that is ranked as one of the MOST CORRUPT in the world: globalnation.inquirer.net/58823/philippines-remains-one-of-most-corrupt-countries-survey You don't play nice and wait for them to continue lying to you.
anson
This is all about CY's face now. It's CY that wants the apology. He has no real concern for the feelings of the victims families.
caractacus
"Sincerity" is Chinese double speak for humiliation and revenge.
The families of the victims are being used by unscrupulous Hong Kong politicians and officials, not least the unprincipled C.Y. Leung.
This has turned into a racist witchhunt. Shameful.
pragmatist
time to move on?
mo yung
Maybe Mr. Leung should step down as chief executive and be a personal injury attorney instead.
mo yung
Maybe Mr. Leung, himself can give the public his own detailed plan on how to deal with unfortunate hostage situations if they were to occur in Hong Kong and what he would do if the outcome was tragically even less fortunate.
bpoon1pc
CY's request is logical and sensible as he represents the wishes of the victim's families.
artdig18
No doubt he is .... but his job is the whole of HK and to provide stately leadership ... Not school yard threats and tactics.
Shadow
in Second ROUND. Philippine passport holder should be banned from entering city without visa. And all flight coming from Philippine should be subject to total SEARCH, all passengers coming from Philippines should be subject to strict inspection of body and luggage.
chanaa
shadow, you are exactly whats wrong with HK today. Stay in your bubble.

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