• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 2:01pm
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong, Manila to hold talks on bus hostage crisis

Aquino maintains Philippines was not to blame for deaths of eight Hongkongers but agrees to ministerial discussions after meeting C.Y. Leung

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 October, 2013, 2:59pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 October, 2013, 10:09am

Hong Kong and the Philippine authorities have finally agreed to begin official talks over the Manila bus hostage crisis that left eight Hongkongers dead more than three years ago.

But neither Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying nor victims' families expect an early resolution while Philippine President Benigno Aquino has insisted that he will make no apology, saying the lone gunman was to blame.

This matter, unless it is resolved properly, will continue to stand in the way of the normal relationships between Hong Kong and the Philippines
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying

"We're taking a small step in the right direction," Leung said in Bali during the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit. "[But] I don't think anyone should overpromise the results of further dialogue between Hong Kong and the Philippines."

He said Aquino had agreed to his suggestion that ministerial meetings should take place "as soon as possible" to discuss how to follow up on the matter.

"The Philippine side, in the beginning, took the position that the matter has been resolved. I did not agree. I believe, and I made the case to the Philippine side, that this matter, unless it is resolved properly, will continue to stand in the way of the normal relationships between Hong Kong and the Philippines," Leung said.

At a 40-minute meeting on Monday night, attended by two senior Hong Kong officials and seven Philippine officials and ministers, Aquino reiterated, according to Philippine media, that his government had the "deepest regret" for the victims, but stressed that it did not mean that "we are at fault as a country, as a government, as a people".

Leung was quoted as citing the government response to last year's Lamma ferry disaster as an illustration that Hong Kong officials would apologise for tragedies for which they were not directly responsible.

"That's your culture," Aquino was reported as replying. "But in our system … we cannot admit wrongdoing if it's not ours. From our perspective, there is one lone gunman responsible for this tragedy."

However, Aquino agreed to send Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to brief victims' families on the Philippine judicial processes and status of cases.

The Hong Kong government did not announce the meeting had taken place until Philippine media uploaded video clips. The Hong Kong side took no photos or videos at the meeting.

Tse Chi-kin, whose younger brother Masa Tse Ting-chunn was killed, said it was "unacceptable" that Aquino put all the blame on the gunman and that he had lost faith in whatever promises the Philippine government might make.

"We met with the Philippine secretary of justice on the first anniversary of the incident in Manila but we have heard nothing ever since and the promises made are yet to be honoured," Tse said.

He urged the Hong Kong government to follow up closely on any future promises the Philippine side made as they tend to "say one thing and do another".

Legislator James To Kun-sun urged the central government to take sterner measures in its engagement with Manila to ensure Hongkongers' safety abroad.



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Why Hong Kong, U.S., and Other Freer Economies Can Justifiably Ban/Restrict Free-Riding RP in the Name of Reciprocity
I believe there's dirty hidden secrets to this story. The "mad" gunman was a decorated policeman, who achieved high honours before he got sacked. Obviously he knows something, some dirty corruption secrets that probably connected to the mayor and may lead all the way up to the president. He only wanted to be heard. But the Philippines government wanted him dead. The Philippines government arrested his brother to trigger a response and moved in for the kill.
Of course there is something behind this, but not as complex as you might think. I am gonna let you in something that government insiders in the Philippines know as a fact but not well-known:
1. Mendoza was a very rare incorruptible policeman of Manila's kind. His principles was so foolishly strong that he once busted a container of illegal drugs in a port-all alone!
2.Mayor Lim's son was a hopeless drug addict while he agressive ly Lim campaigns for drug-free manila.
3.Mendoza busted his son for possession in a traffic stop.
4.Mayor orders him to drop it.
5. Super policeman says no!.
6. As waits for his retirement proudly as a very decorated policeman, he was charged for the worst form of offense a policeman can do- stealing from civilians under the pretense of arrest.
7.Seeing almost three decades of courageous service to his country wiped out by a very shameful offense,he snaps
Trying to get an apology is understandable but it does seem that the sole motive of the families is compensation. I can still recall the indignant attitude of the official right after the massacre and personally I hate that guy to the core but though the rescue was a botched attempt an apology now wouldnt heal the hearts of the deceased family members would it? The Filipino Government stated they had offered compensation but that it was rejected. This needs to be sorted out as I am at a loss as to why the families concerned never mentioned this nor did they state why this wasnt sufficient.
When are the HK'rs going to just drop this issue once and for all...........what happened 3 years ago was an accident carried out by one single madman who had a gun and could not be stopped by a bunch of incompetent Filipino policemen..............simple as that.............Why on earth would the Philippine government come out to apologize for this?
The HK government would never apologize for every tourist that was killed, raped or assaulted in this city, would they?.................of course not.................End of Story.........
This corrupted President (he claims to be against corruption, and yet used presidential powers to protect his cronies - the Mayor of Philippines at the time Mr. Alfredo Lim (who s a family friend) and his best friend, Mr Puno whom Aquino appointed to be in charge of the Metro Manila police Protecting one's cronies when they were named to be responsible in the report is a form of corruption) loves face too much. He seem to have lose fact that it was due to Alfred Lim's order of arrest of Mendoza's brother (that will be a sign to the gunman that further talk is useless), and the shooting started. There were chances of the police snipers to take him down, and they did not. Throughout the past three years, this corrupt President has refused to say sorry. The botched rescue was not done the gunman, it was the PNP. As leader of the country and therefore commander of the security forces, he is responsible for it and should apologize. He should also say sorry for protecting his cronies and not take action as per the report given to him at the time. Compensation should have been given long time ago. Time we force an apology from that government. This is nothing to do with the people, but the government.
Relji Joseph
This is so embarrassing, Hong Kong is literally chasing philippines to apologise. I'm very confused as to what is Hong Kong ppl trying to want here...there was a lone gunman and it was a hostage situation, the Philippines government has already shown their regrets on how the situation could have been handled better with the shoot-out, what more can you held the country liable for ?. Is Hong Kong government apologizing for every tourist who dies here...I didn't see any apologies from Hong Kong government when a tourist girl was raped 6 months back or when the choir kid died of overdose or atleast when the court convicted the employers of the Indo helper for torture and nor did I hear an apology from the HKG government when snowden was allowed to exit Hong Kong , so stop been so hypocrite ... its quite shameful to read.
Well said, and right on the point.........there is no need for the Philippine government to do anymore. The incident was merely an accident from one lone madman who went crazy with a gun and the HK'rs just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. What happened back then was not a result of what the Philippine government did and you cannot blame them if they happened to have incompetent policemen............if a madman in HK went crazy with a gun and shot a bunch of Filipinos, do you think Leung will come out and apologize and compensate the families...........of course not!......When will the ignorant HK'rs get over this and accept it as an accident and stop making a fool of themselves in begging for the Philipping government to do more.......No leader in any country in their right mind would do anymore than acknowledge it was an accident.............
If the same was happen in for example Beijing, should Mr Xi goes on his knees to ply guilty to Hong Kong ?
This time to see the truth, traveling is a risk, and some counties more as other. Foreign affairs is a mater of the Central Government, blame them, not our local village head.
If Aquino doesn't formally apologizes for his country's negligences, CY should just impose sactions to limit the number of maids coming over. Maids are essential to the Philippines because they make up a substantial GDP to the country.




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