• Wed
  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 6:43am
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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This article is now closed to comments

amunro
Time to give this one up CY - How about focusing on HK's real problems? Even if Aquino does apologize after all this time it will be condemned as being 'insincere' and the problem will never go away.
daily
Can CY get any lower than this?.............I mean really..........asking somone to be sincere?.......Give us a break.
Either they are or they aren't, and it's not up to CY to ask. This lame CE has finally outdone himself again and has embarrased not only himself, but also HK.
What reasons are there left for the Central government to keep this lame-brain around?
druwong123
CY is just trying to be a good dog to his PRC masters, and who knows if they have even ever asked him to bark at the Philippines. No matter. He aims to please. Doesn't matter if China never needed his help to bully the Philippines.
The flip side of this is that we will find it harder to get domestic help from the Philippines, and helpers with bad service records will easily find another job here because of pant up demand. So WELL DONE again to CY's government to once again achieving a result with the maximum overall negative impact on Hong Kong.
asiaseen
CY making a fool of himself and HK again
realestate
We always blame mainlanders for causing trouble in HK...CY's behaviour is worse than them and is lowering the respect and dignity of HK in the eyes of the world.It is no wonder many locals raise the British flag as a reminder of better governance.
andreaswagner
What a farce has this become
mjqhkg
Just. Shut. Up.
pragmatist
time to move on?
chanaa
how would you define sincere cy ? Kowtow, get on knees, knock heads on floor ? Cry ?
it aint happening, so get over it.
robroy
How can you force someone to be sincere, has he lost his mind?

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