• Mon
  • Jul 28, 2014
  • Updated: 12:15pm
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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This article is now closed to comments

Tkorunner
"The Philippine and Hong Kong governments conducted separate investigations into the incident. Both inquiries judged that the victims had been unlawfully killed, and identified the Philippine officials' poor handling of the incident as the cause of the eight hostages' deaths." (From Wiki) Do you agree ?
Have you watched the TV broadcasting of the tragedy? If you don't think the Philippine officials handling poorly, there is no point discussing with you.
pslhk
Moralistic arguments for and against apology are moot
It’s simply a matter of realpolitik
British thugs burnt down Yuanminyuan
to revenge alleged disrespect for the union skull and crossbones
Japanese thugs pay homage to a shinto cult dagoba
to provoke conflicts intended to thwart China’s development
It’s stupid to mistake Aquinos as “the only adult in the room”
that clown knows better than to expedite severe punishments
bruk
I think an apology is only a sign of respect, a simple humane gesture, if the situation was the other way around HK Gov. and the people of HK would apologise and assist. I do believe it similar accident happen in the US President Obama would apologise because he is a great man, Aquino is not. I think Aquino is arrogant, he will not retaliate because his country's economy is dependent on HK and China, yes he is not stupid. His is a government that oppresses it own people forcing them to procreate give them nothing to live forcing them out of their own country for survival, charging them lots of taxes when their return home, taking their hard earned money to their own pockets, giving the children of these people no chance in life forcing them to continue the cycle, a vampire government that lives on the blood of it's own people. I don't have any respect for him.
kmarlaltomonte
So then why hasn't Hong Kong apologized for all the abuses inflicted upon Filipinos, particularly domestic helpers, by their citizens?
jenny@asian-emphasis.com
Will Hong Kong apologize to the maid allegedly bashed by her employer? Come on, the act in the Philippines was the act of a deranged person. Even in the best rescue plan, the hostages may not have come out alive - who knows? The only reason that HK is going on and on about this issue is that they think that the Philippines is vastly inferior to Hong Kong. HK thinks it is more important than it is really. Why the arrogance all the time? Please move on! Honestly.
lucifer
I am still waiting for Mongolia's apology for Genghis Khan's invasion and occupation of China.
sterobertshk
You have hit the nail on the head. Hong Kong thinks Philippine people are somehow below them and should kowtow to the superior beings from Hong Kong. Sure it could have been handled better but hostages could still have been killed. Could the Hong Kong police guarantee no deaths if the situation was reversed. Hong Kong needs to grow up and accept that this was a terrible tragedy perpetrated by a lone gunman.
gunzy
So are you saying that HK shouldn't apologized for the abuse against maids because the Philippines does not apologize?
Should we tell all abused people, maids or otherwise to just move on?
Separate issues must always be dealt with separately, there is never any progress in any ****-for-tat argument.

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