HK Filipinos to rally against 'martial law in disguise'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 February, 2006, 12:00am

Migrant workers' leaders will gather at the Philippine Consulate tomorrow to protest at what United Filipinos in Hong Kong condemns as 'martial law in disguise'. Unifil chairwoman Dolores Balladares called for the immediate lifting of the state of emergency.

E-mail and text messages were being sent out from Manila yesterday, calling on Hong Kong residents to join the rally.

The Philippine consulate was closed yesterday with Consul-General Alejandrino A. Vicente on a duty visit to Macau.

Hong Kong media received a statement from Philippine Tourism Secretary Joseph Durano saying travel to Manila and other tourist destinations 'continues to be safe'.

Sunflower Travel assistant general manager Henley Tse said it had tour groups going to the Philippines next week.

'We are now trying to contact the customers to check if they still want to proceed,' he said.

'If they do not want to go, we will offer them a chance to change tours or put back their trips.'

Morning Star said it would have a tour party leaving for Manila today and that no one had withdrawn yet.

Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung advised travellers to the Philippines to contact their tour operators immediately if they planned to cancel trips but also warned them that they might not get a full refund.