• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 12:42pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 November, 2013, 3:25am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 November, 2013, 2:51pm

Aquino apology call reaches fever pitch with Manila sanctions vote

Philippine president Benigno Aquino is right. He should not have to apologise for the hostage tragedy on behalf of his country. Hong Kong's self-righteousness and indignation has reached a feverish pitch, culminating with the passage of a non-binding Legislative Council motion for sanctions on Thursday.

The timing is far from ideal; it just exposes our callousness. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful ever recorded, slammed into the Philippines while our lawmakers deliberated in the air-con Legco chamber on sanctions.

It has set off landslides, caused blackouts in an entire province and cut communications in the country's central island provinces. At least four people have died but the death toll is expected to rise.

Albert Chan Wai-yip, a pan-democratic People Power lawmaker, launched the motion to impose sanctions against the Philippines unless Aquino cries uncle. The pro-establishment Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, our ex-security chief, helped with its passage by calling for an end to visa-free access for Philippine visitors to Hong Kong.

Jumping on the bandwagon, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said he supports sanctions. This is perhaps a negotiating tactic, but more likely a cynical ploy to halt his plummeting popularity.

Now that's a political ménage à trois you rarely see in this town. It is, indeed, some kind of political pornography. But if Leung thinks that would help salvage his dwindling public support, I say don't bother. He will get no credit if Aquino apologises, only the blame if he doesn't.

Over the decades, how many Philippine domestic helpers have been mistreated and abused - how many driven to suicide? Should Manila demand an apology and a victims' fund from Hong Kong?

Dr Rizalina Bunyi, 55, was one of the victims killed in the Tiananmen Square terrorist attack last week. Shouldn't Manila now demand a formal apology and compensation from Beijing? How many Hong Kong visitors have been injured or killed in accidents that could be attributed to official negligence on the mainland? Should Beijing apologise?

The families of the victims of the Manila killings deserve closure. But our belligerence will not achieve that for them, only make it worse.

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snelderj
it's high time we took the high road, set aside our differences and focus on helping those in need, hkers, have some perspectives plzzzzzzzzzz!! 10,000 people just died and on the rising... very sad indeed, retaliation never solves any problem, just escalate.
dienw
Agree with the sentiments but it's "culminating", not "cumulating". Does no one edit these pieces? That's a laughable error.
ricardo.teehankee
I really don't get what this Jihmbo kid's problem is. He's a self-hating Pinoy who likes to imagine himself superior to other Filipinos by constantly criticizing everything about Filipinos and the Philippines.
Look around you, Jihmbo. Even the majority of HK people posting here think that what their government is doing is excessive. So why do you presume to speak for them? You think you know better than they do? What, you saw that HKers themselves weren't supportive of their government's threats, so you thought you should do it for them? Even the people of Hong Kong don't agree with you. Bit presumptuous of you to speak for them, wouldn't you agree?
Get a clue, Jihmbo.
no.benta.5
It is alright if most of you HKs dont like us Filipinos and look down on us because we are a poor country and have a bad government which I honestly admit. It is a human nature for people who are economically superior to look down on poor people even in personal level. The pride and arrogance will always be there. Anyway, in my personal belief, I say that life and fortune is like a wheel, it goes up and down. So nobody knows if my country be economically better or far more worse in the future. So for looking down on us, thank you, you are making us stronger as a people despite all the adversaries and tragedies.
michael.michael.1447342
You bunch of idiots forget the reason why the hostage crisis turned into a bungle massacred was because of the PH government right? From the Police Chief and Mayor going to eat and leaving no one in charge, from not taking out the hostage taker even though multiple times he had let his guard down to one of the negotiator standing right next to him and not doing anything? How about sending in a make-shift, half retarded, group of wannabe cops when a elite hostage rescue unit was nearby ready to be used? How about letting the brother of the hostage take coming in to ignite the situation even worst? How about the promise of bringing those responsible for the bungle rescue to justice but then not following up on those promises?
Those of you don't understand, there is NO WAY the Philippine government could reabsorb these 250,000 back home in the Philippine and give them a job with wages from what they make in Hong Kong. All these 250,000 would add to the jobless number. And to say the PH tourist would snub Hong Kong. OH PLEASE! Anyone with a brain would know Hong Kong could easily replace any of these cheap tourist from the Philippines. You guys forget that Hong Kong is not a third world country and is a prosperous nation even before any the OFW maids came.
tennisboy
The Philippines, after all, is a third world country; it is a sad reality, but how can you blame a government that is unable to protect 10,000 of its own people from a foreseeable storm, let alone protect foreigners from an unforeseeable attack from a terrorist nutcase.
fsk999
If this tragic fiasco had played out in Hong Kong with a disgruntled HK cop taking Filipino tourists hostage in a coach with a bundled rescue resulting in their deaths, a subsequent inquest and possible enquiry would have resulted in a swift apology by the CE.
However, it is impossible to imagine such a scenario in which local police are allowed to mishandle a serious, life threatening situation to which the hostage negotiator cadre and special duties unit are not swiftly summoned to take control and professionally resolve the situation without loss of innocent life.
ricardo.teehankee
Oh, so you were offended by my "exalted one" comment, is that it Jihmbo? Yes, it was sarcasm, but it's not the same as calling someone a small-minded simpleton. And your preceding comment: "LoL. About as sincere as the hooker that told you she loves you", smacks of sarcasm itself. The pot is calling the kettle black, LOL.
But anyway. About Filipinos reaching out to HK's people regardless of what Aquino decided - isn't that exactly what we did? Did you not see the "To all HK people, we Filipinos mourn with you" posters?
I seriously doubt that even a few Filipinos are happy about the outcome of the hostage crisis. They may be indifferent to it at the worst, but happy about it? Of course not.
But you can only continue being sorry for so long when the other person keeps rejects all your apologies and keeps on hating you (especially when you weren't really responsible for what happened in the first place).
Naturally, Filipinos would eventually feel that no apology will ever be enough for them, and that they aren't really concerned about the apology anymore - they just want to humiliate us. It seems that they are blaming the entire Filipino people for what happened and treating us all as enemies.
Not that a superlative ignoramus like you would understand. Even in this comment you insult me, calling me uneducated. You just can't help insulting people who disagree with you. I'd say the epithet of "uneducated" applies to you, Jihmbo.
ricardo.teehankee
But I have to say, the comments here are far more reasonable than I thought they would be... The majority of comments seem to be opposed to the HK government's unreasonable threats and demands. I had expected that this comment page would be overrun with nationalists condemning and threatening the Philippines, along with a heaping side dish of racism and maid insults for good measure. That seems not to be the case.
Though based on what I've seen, one of the reasons the anti-Filipino brigade aren't out in force here is that they are already all over the Philippine newspapers...
impala
I wonder if we will see the day that CY makes the right call on anything.

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