Leung to press demands to Aquino at Apec summit
Hong Kong group is assured Leung will push the Philippine leader to address its many demands
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying will press the demands of survivors and relatives of victims of the Manila hostage crisis on Philippine President Benigno Aquino at an international summit next month.
Survivors and family members have been fighting for justice in the two years since seven Hong Kong tourists and their guide were shot dead by sacked policeman Rolando Mendoza.
They were yesterday promised action at a meeting with Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok and Office of the Chief Executive director Edward Yau Teng-wah.
Tse Chi-hang, younger brother of slain tour guide Masa Tse Ting-chunn, said Lai also promised to designate an official from the Security Bureau to follow up on demands for an apology from the Philippine government as well as compensation, accountability for the Philippine officials involved and improved measures to protect tourists.
"It is really a tough time for us in these two years," said Tse. "It is painful for us to follow up the incidents by ourselves. We really hope the government, including the chief executive, can have something concrete done for us,"
Leung will invite Aquino for bilateral talks during the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit in Vladivostok, Russia on September 7 and 8 and Yau promised that Leung would raise the group's demands, Tse said.
But Tse said he was disappointed that Yau had not given a concrete promise that Leung would meet the survivors and relatives in person after the Apec summit. The group had invited Leung to yesterday's meeting, which came a day after the second anniversary of the bus siege, but Yau and Lai attended instead.
Leung said at earlier that he cared very much about the incident. Lai admitted progress with Manila had been slow, but the government was continuing to follow up on the situation.
Survivor Lee Ying-chuen, who was also at the meeting, said Lai had told them that the government had contacted the Foreign Ministry in Beijing four times in the past 12 months about the case, although the last contact was in September, after Premier Wen Jiabo told Aquino face-to-face to properly handle the aftermath of the siege and the botched rescue attempt, in which Mendoza was killed.
On the day the siege unfolded, Leung's predecessor Donald Tsang Yam-kuen tried to reach Aquino by phone twice to express his concerns, but Aquino's aide did not pass on his messages.