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  • Sep 20, 2014
  • Updated: 2:19pm
NewsHong Kong

CY Leung denies Hong Kong and Philippines have put bus tragedy behind them

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 2:01pm
UPDATED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 11:10pm
 

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Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Friday refuted a Philippine government statement that Hong Kong and the Philippines had put the bus tragedy row behind them, saying his words at a meeting he had with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Monday in Bali had been “taken out of context”.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Leung said he had suggested to Aquino at the meeting that issues surrounding the hostage tragedy – in which eight Hong Kong people were killed – could be put behind them only if both sides held talks and took steps to resolve them.

It was not like my meeting with him was to talk about how to put the issue behind us. This is absolutely not the case

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying

"It was not like my meeting with him was to talk about how to put the issue behind us. This is absolutely not the case,” he said.

Leung said that at the meeting Aquino had agreed to his proposal that both sides would send a senior official to discuss unresolved matters related to the hostage tragedy.

Before the press conference on Friday Leung met with a survivor of the tragedy, Yik Siu-ling, whose lower jaw was shattered by a bullet, and representatives of the families of victims of the tragedy who had demanded clarification on the statements made by the Philippines about Leung's meeting with Aquino.

At the meeting Leung denied that he and Aquino had agreed to put the issues of the tragedy behind them. After the meeting, those who met with Leung said they were satisfied with his explanation.

[China is] too late. The Hong Kong chief executive and the President had already met in Bali 
Edwin Lacierda, Aquino’s spokesman

Leung statement's on Friday came after Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda said on Thursday China's recent request for the Philippines to resolve the row over the Manila bus hostage tragedy “came too late” as Leung had “agreed to put the issue behind them”.

The strong stance from Aquino’s office, reported on Thursday morning, was a response to the Chinese foreign ministry’s statement on Tuesday that the Philippines should take “substantial action” to address problems with Hong Kong related to the hostage tragedy.

The Foreign Ministry statement also came hours before the China News Service revealed that in a brief conversation during the East Asia Summit on Wednesday China's Premier Li Keqiang had urged the Philippines to resolve the row as soon as possible because it had dragged on for a long time and affected the feelings of the people of China and Hong Kong. He said he hoped the Philippine government would resolve the incident “reasonably and fairly”.

Lacierda, was quoted in the Philippine newspaper Manila Standard Today on Thursday as saying that when China made the appeal, Aquino and Leung had already met and both had agreed to put the issue behind them.

“[China is] too late. The Hong Kong chief executive and the President had already met in Bali [Indonesia],” said Lacierda, referring to the meeting between Aquino and Leung during the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) leaders’ meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

In contrast to Leung’s earlier revelation that Manila agreed on holding ministerial-level meetings with Hong Kong, MST on Wednesday reported Leung as saying that “a dialogue with the survivors and the families [of the victims] could be at the level of the Philippine consul-general in Hong Kong”, with Aquino only afterwards suggesting that his administration might "perhaps go further than that” and send someone at ministerial level, such as Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to lead it.

The seven Hong Kong tourists and their tour guide were shot dead after being taken hostage by a sacked policeman onboard their coach in August 2010. The gunman was killed when a police assault team broke into the bus to end the hostage drama.

Families of the victims and survivors of the tragedy have been demanding that Manila apologise and compensate them for the Philippine authorities’ bungled rescue effort. They earlier sought to sue the Philippine government in a Hong Kong court but the court dismissed their case.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

q.fiver
You should direct your question to the Filipino Justice Minister
q.fiver
" I am not saying that not getting a formal apology is right." then why are you NOT asking your government to do the right thing?
zafiro.bourdeaux
I don't know how to respond to that. I was mostly pointing out how poorly a lot of you are conducting yourselves.
If only these people who died so tragically could see your racist and bigot comments about how you should treat maids poorly and "spank" a country around. You are not just mad at the government, you are taking it out on people who really don't have much of a say in the matter. To be quite honest, you are probably just using this as an excuse (which is awful!) to let out your existing racist tendencies.
q.fiver
I know you are unable to respond because you know the Philippines government is obviously at fault. Instead, you are just repeating your comments in a different way.
BTW You have accused the posting by some Hongkong sympathizer being racist, but you failed to see the racist comments posted by some Filipino. That is how biased you are.
zafiro.bourdeaux
That is a bit of a childish mentality. "The Filipinos are doing it too!"
If I do see racist comments by Filipinos, I will be sure to show an equal amount of disgust.
The Philippines government is at fault. I just feel like an apology by itself is not enough. They should act and show to the world that they are taking steps to properly train their SWAT and police force.
If you feel that they're not doing enough, Hong Kong is free to ban travel or put up travel warnings until they feel comfortable. That might help with the situation. What does NOT help is taking it out on actual Filipino people.
seanokeeffe
Zafiro, I do believe you are missing the point; missing the point of the HK’ers commenting and missing the point of the underlying issue. Here in Toronto we have our share of situations that result in deaths at the hands of police, and yes often times during an inquest it’s determined that inadequate training is a contributing factor. Yet, this does not preclude the officer(s) being charged. Yes officers are low hanging fruit and arguably easier to prosecute then senior officials, but they are not mindless drones operating on instructions from the mothership; they acted on their own accord. The Filipino police officer’s actions contributed to the tragic outcome; whether they were cavalier in their behavior or merely inept is moot. Merely deflecting the issue as a matter of training and attempting to prosecute senior officials often, as you must agree, often leads to no charges and at most a slap on the wrist. If officers, regardless of jurisdiction, believe they will be prosecuted for failing to uphold their duties, they in turn will be motivated to pursue adequate training. Tragically the PH is rife with lawlessness and the daily papers are evidence of that.
As a former HK’er living back in Toronto I fail to see the logic of your comments, I hope it’s more a hidden agenda then mere myopia.
zafiro.bourdeaux
Wow! I really hope you guys are all trolling. I am not saying that not getting a formal apology is right.The comments on here are really immature, condescending, and racist.
Seeing comments like "...just make sure you do not treat your maids well."
Money evidently doesn't buy a person any class.
dienamik
Pretty typical of the Philippines. They will not do what is right unless they get spanked and forced onto their knees like what Taiwan did to them. Of course unfortunately, delusional Hong Kongers hate and distance themselves from Beijing and now cry that they cannot get justice. Well, you reap what you sow.
Gina Cole
...Your comment shows your ignorance on the issues with Taiwan & Philippines.... Taiwan forced to lift the sanctions because the Philippines threaten to withdraw it's workforce in Taiwan... Their manufacturing industry was on the brink of temporary collapse due to the planned pull-out of Filipino workforce... therefore they have loosen and negotiate an amiccable agreement and lifted the sanctions... know your facts, before commenting...
tksiow
Boycott tours to the Phillippines;but cheap Hong Kong tourists cannot do it. Just make sure you do not treat your maids well.

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