• Wed
  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 11:59am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 February, 2014, 2:11am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 February, 2014, 2:11am

Benigno Aquino's the only sane voice amid the madness

Many Hong Kong people despise Philippine President Benigno Aquino over the 2010 Manila hostage crisis. But by promising not to retaliate against Hong Kong's half-hearted and laughable sanctions against his country, he is behaving like the only adult in the room.

Philippine lawmakers are often portrayed in a bad light in the world media. But by refusing to heed the call of Congressman Winston Castelo to retaliate and giving their president a free hand to settle the matter, they have proved to be more reasonable and professional than those belligerent airheads in our own legislature.

Why should Aquino worsen a diplomatic spat that makes no sense in the first place, especially when he is already embroiled in a serious fight with China over maritime claims? Any sensible government should try to de-escalate it. Instead, the government of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, in a desperate attempt at populist politics, is needlessly politicising the incident.

The sanctions imposed - forcing a few hundred Philippine officials to get a visa to enter Hong Kong - are supposed to make a statement, but they are so limited as to scare no one yet provoke everyone in the wrong way.

Opportunistic politicians such as Albert Chan Wai-yip and Ray Chan Chi-chuen, both of People Power, who have been calling for sanctions, have squeezed every mileage out of this tragedy. What irony that our supposedly Beijing-stooge of a government is following the lead of the loudest and most irresponsible pan-democratic party. The sanctions must have Beijing's support, too.

Yes, as a community, Hong Kong and its government have every responsibility to help the families of the victims - in fighting for compensation, raising funds, perhaps even making their legal case in court. We should help them recover from their unimaginable trauma any way we can. But it's not our responsibility to ensnare the whole city in a diplomatic spat, a foreign affairs matter over which Leung's government may not even have proper legal authority.

Imagine the killings happened in Washington or Beijing where the taking of hostages by deranged individuals is not unknown. Do you think Barack Obama or Xi Jinping would apologise or even bother to negotiate?

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Camel
Boycott the Philippines, stop inviting maids from the Philippines and offering them work here. Don't travel anymore to the Philippines. That should be the reaction. Demanding apology from a President? revoking free visa only on travellers like officials? What will this accomplish? Nothing but laugher and it is dissappointing that our HK Governement handle this issue like amateurs and kids. Even worse, they let themselve being pushed to do this. If you want to teach the Philippines a lesson then do it in a way were it hurts them really (and not with half baked kindergarten teasing).
realestate
another CY in the making...
HiggsSinglet
hong kong is suffering the mainland confucius mentality!!!
tubbataha
Maintaining the travel black listing (OTA) of Philippines is also inappropriate and just invalidates the whole OTA system. To suggest that travel to Philippines today is more dangerous than travel to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia seems ridiculous ?
Another juvenile response.
jack.sotto
The massacre was a result of Aquino and his men's mishandling of the situation. Had they negotiated properly, the incident would not have happened. The disgruntled man was pushed to the edge when the then-Manila mayor ordered his goons to kill his brother. The man saw how the mayor treated his brother on the tourist bus' TV monitor. Aquino watched the massacre on TV in a nearby Chinese restaurant. He was eating when the thing unfolded. He showed no emotion when he staged a midnight press con. He was smiling. Later, the panel that investigated the incident recommended that his men be held accountable. Aquino refused to accept the findings. Aquino is childish, clueless and lazy. HK has every right to demand an apology.
Camel
I totally agree. CY Leung and his Administration let themselves played like a bouncing ball by HKs lawmakers demanding gestures and measures which normally are found in Kindergartens. Visa restrictions... laughable and with no effect at all. Only that HKs lawmakers once more proof that they do not know what they are actually doing in the Legco. And that the Philippines government proofed that they are more mature and grown up than our own one in HK, hurts, it really hurts, but is fact.
michael.michael.1447342
Alex Lo, you clearly don't know how it got to this point do you? It was Benigno Aquino himself who continued this mess. When the Philippine had wrapped up their investigation, criminal charges were recommended against the officials involved during the bungle hostage rescue. It was Aquino himself who stepped it and recommended the criminal charges be dropped to Administrative charges, basically setting all the morons involved free.
Had criminal charges been filed against all those involved, this would had ended a long time ago. Aquino pretty much gave all the low IQ Philippine officials involved a slapped on the wrist and told to go home instead of letting the wheel of justice prevail.
dokiwuvnabi
I doubt any leader of any country would actually apologize for incidents like hostage taking and such. Yes, the President is supposedly the representative of our country but does that mean he is accountable for foreigners getting killed in his country? What most leaders would do, out of courtesy of course, is to express how tragic the incident was. Like mentioned in the article, I doubt Obama would apologize as well if something like the bus siege happened in America. He will express how deeply sad it was and how he will "help" the families of the victims but he will not apologize. It's not his fault, it's really no one's fault. Tragic stuff just happens. Can you really blame the police for not saving the victims? He took an oath but come on, nobody wants to get killed. The Hong Kong government is just prolonging this issue just like how the Philippine government is prolonging the PDAF issue. No leader or country or anyone is perfect.
clk2828
"Imagine the killings happened in Washington or Beijing where the taking of hostages by deranged individuals is not unknown. Do you think Barack Obama or Xi Jinping would apologise or even bother to negotiate?" ….Mr. Alex Lo…. the killer acting individually was a Philippines Policemen mate!!!
Yknot
clk2828, get your facts right. The killer in the Manila tragedy was a civilian. FACT

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