• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 8:22pm
NewsHong Kong

CY Leung threatens 'substantial' sanctions against Philippines in hostage row

Chief executive gives the Philippines one month to make progress in compensation talks

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 November, 2013, 10:53am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 November, 2013, 9:59am

Hong Kong has turned up the heat in the Manila hostage row by threatening unspecified sanctions against the Philippines unless progress is made in talks to resolve the issue of compensation for the families who lost loved ones in the tragedy.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said his government would "go on striving for progress" in talks with the Philippine government but delivered a deadline of one month after which "necessary actions" would be taken unless "substantial progress" was made.

Video: Hong Kong threatens sanctions against Philippines in hostage row

Leung's statement, in Chinese, used the word "sanctions" to elaborate on what the "necessary actions" were.

The ultimatum was met with a response from Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez, who said last night: "We are working quietly to achieve a mutually satisfactory conclusion."

The families of those killed and injured in the tour bus bloodbath three years ago - in which sacked policeman Rolando Mendoza opened fire on his Hong Kong hostages amid a bungled rescue attempt, leaving eight dead - are demanding an apology from President Benigno Aquino and financial compensation. Leung's threat - which is understood to have received Beijing's approval - comes ahead of today's Legislative Council debate over proposed economic sanctions, and the possibility of withdrawing visa-free access to the city for Filipinos unless Manila meets the families' demands.

In a statement issued yesterday Leung said: "I now announce that the Hong Kong government will take necessary actions, unless substantial progress is made within one month." He added: "But we cannot reveal our planning of the talks now. We will go on striving for progress."

Lauro Baja, a retired Philippine diplomat who once served as president of the United Nations Security Council, said the threat of sanctions could backfire on Hong Kong.

"In the immediate period, [the possible withdrawal of visa-free access] will hurt the Philippines. But in the long run, Hong Kong will suffer because the presence of Filipinos [in Hong Kong] is beneficial to even Hong Kong government officials, businessmen and other residents," said Baja.

"If the president apologises, that means he is speaking on behalf of the country. It is difficult for him to apologise for himself because he speaks for the nation."

Video: Philippine bus hostage-taking incident



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This article is now closed to comments

A previous respondent suggested that scrapping visa free entry to HK for philipino's was going to hurt the wrong people and i whole heartedly agree. Too often the citizens of the philipines are used as pawns by the ruling (rich) untouchables. If your serious about sanctions CY then hit the millions if not billions of stolen cash from the nation held by those political families such as the one in question above and quite a few others. But if you decide to hit the helpers with sanctions you are only picking on the weak.
He is just trying to divert attention from his idiotic excuse for denying HKTV a license.
How about
The hk people take their blinders out and see how stupid & grredy they sound to the rest of the world. Now the stupidity has permeated to the rest of their government.
Ridiculous, contemptible and wholly inappropriate in the circumstances. This is a cheap shot to gain popularity by using well worn tactics of nationalism and racism.
It won't divert attention away from the fact that the public increasingly view this administration as incompetent and fast being undermined by corruption.
How low will he go?
great. Lets recall the 100k odd filipinas back to work in rest of asia. Japan, twn, sg, malaysia & thailand are rubbing their hands in glee. Business wise, by pass HK & go straight to China.
Lets see if the lazy **** hkers can go back to domestic & service labour.
Stand strong aquino
CY: We're going to put a sanction if you don't do something.
Manila: Fine, do it, cause we're not going to do a single thing.
CY (To our mainland leaders): Comeon....do something....please help
Mainland: Solve your own problems.
CY: Fk....We're really really REALLY going to put in a sanction if you don't do something!!!
Manila: No...
You clearly have no understanding of the law, strategy or tactics that apply in a hostage situation. At the time the gunman was standing in the door of the bus he had not harmed anyone, negotiations were underway and therefore taking a shot is unjustified. Moreover, with the presence of hostages a sniper shot is a risky option. This is the real world, not a video game, nor the place for ill-formed armchair warriors to pass comment.
Unfortunately, the powers that be in the Philippines only know how to **** their own poor people. If they had balls, they would prempt any stupid "sanctions"by HKSAR and immediately recall all 180,000 Filipina maids back home to the Philippines. Before the airlift could take place, the lazy Hong Kongers would realize their easy life AND their economy would be severely damaged. Wow, all those working mothers would need to quit their jobs to take care of their own children! The thought of that would cause mass demonstrations against Mr. C.Y. Then we would see how far C.Y. and **** Ip would stick their tongues up Aquino's **** to persuade him to keep the Filipina maids in Hong Kong. That would be the ideal time for Aquino to negotiate a pay increase for the maids and finally do something good for his constituents. At the same time he could ask C.Y.'s Big Brothers in Beijing to aplogize to the Philippines for not adequately protecting the Filipina medical doctor who was murdered in Tianiamen Square last week.
Yeah, 3 years on after the incident and now the government makes empty threats.............any restrictions on the Filipino maids coming over is just shooting yourself in the foot cause the lazy-bum HK'rs can't live without a maid................I dare CY to go ahead and make the sanctions.........if he's got the balls to do it............then just do it and enough of these empty words.
I'm not completely up to date on this issue, but as I understood it, compensation that did not seem totally out of the ballpark in terms of reason ability has already been offered. I can understand the need to continue negotiating on the amount. But to threaten sanctions after a given deadline is lowbrow blustering and makes HK look somewhat neanderthalish. He is simply not demonstrating very enlightened communication / problem solving skills. It's the kind of conflict resolution one could expect from 8 year olds on the school playground.



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