• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 9:37am
NewsHong Kong
DISASTER

Deadline for bus hostage sanctions against Manila stays, despite typhoon

Chief secretary says possible sanctions against Manila will not be delayed, even though nation is struggling to cope with aftermath of Haiyan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 November, 2013, 11:43pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 November, 2013, 4:39pm
 

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14 Nov 2013
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Hong Kong has "no plan" to delay possible economic sanctions against the Philippines over the Manila bus hostage crisis, despite the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the government would not extend the one-month deadline it set last week for the demands of survivors and victims' families to be addressed. Lam's comments were described as "cold and heartless'' by a Filipino community leader.

They came as President Xi Jinping phoned his Philippine counterpart Benigno Aquino to offer his condolences.

Haiyan has killed more than 2,000 and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

There is confusion over the toll, after Aquino suggested initial estimates of 10,000 deaths in Tacloban city alone had been fuelled by "emotion".

But aid workers fear the toll will rise rapidly as help has yet to reach remote areas hit by the typhoon. It is predicted the economic losses could total US$15 billion - 5 per cent of the country's gross domestic product.

Video: Chaos in stricken Philippine city amid wait for aid

Asked if possible sanctions over the hostage incident - in which a sacked Filipino policeman shot dead seven Hong Kong tourists and injured eight others - could be delayed, Lam said: "There's no such plan at the moment."

She added that the typhoon aid effort and the bus tragedy were "entirely separate issues".

"The hostage incident is an issue that we have been pursuing for quite some time," she said, while typhoon relief efforts were "a humanitarian act".

Benjamin Panganiban, co-director of the Philippine Association of Hong Kong, branded the decision "cold and heartless'' and said the deadline should be extended until after Christmas.

"It's a good gesture to give aid, but the government could go further by extending the deadline as it would show sympathy to the Filipino people, not the government," he added.

Tomorrow, the government will seek Legco approval for a HK$40 million injection to its disaster relief fund, which holds HK$9 million. Only a portion of the cash will go to the Philippines

Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun, a campaigner on behalf of the hostage tragedy families, agreed with Lam.

He said: "We cannot assume they are incapable of handling both the storm and the hostage follow-up at the same time."

But lawmaker Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, who is of Filipino Chinese descent, said the government should give Manila time to focus on the typhoon rescue operations.

He said: "The extent of the damage is similar to that of a tsunami and they need time to handle the aftermath."

Video: Philippine bus hostage-taking incident

Additional reporting by Raissa Robles and Teddy Ng

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This article is now closed to comments

cobaltparakova
Please dont help crazy people. leyte is the province of the former first lady and the main suspect in the kill ninoy aquino. revenge is a ****. rich ruling class are fighting using your donations.
enchong.millari
who cares what this uncivilized and inhuman society says. its feeling like a nation when just a mainland China territory. enough of your hubris. your wealth does not save you from death as we all die.
wailunscmp
The Philippine President & Nation does NOT owe Hong Kong any apology for the bus killings just as Xi Jinping and China does not owe the Philippine people an apology for the deliberate killing of a Filipino doctor and injuries to her family members in Beijing recently as a result of a Chinese terrorist attack. The Manila city government has already apologised and the Manial city council is offering compensation way above what the Philippines gave their own citizen killed in the same shooting. In international practice, the compesnation to victims are usually the same regardless of nationality. If any Hong Konger feel it's too low then they should stop enjoyiug "cheap" holiday destinations and only visit expensive countries like
Japan, U.S and Europe where the compensation may be higher !
These Hong Kong politicians should be ASHAMED. Hong Kong has lost the moral high ground with these proposed sanctions and is now a laughing stock among CIVILISED nations of the world.
I am sure the vast silent majority of Hong Kong people are not like this, and are noble and generous in character. Self seeking opportunists are causing Hong Kong people to lose face over a few dollars
pangkf
I am Hongkonger and I disagree with the government's decision of disallowing to extend the deadline to the Philippines. It is not what the HK people think and want to treat Philippines. I wonder whether there's an invisible hand behind the government. Otherwise, they are totally stupid of doing this.
skywalker
"invisible hand"? Mhh... wait, China?
cardcardso@yahoo.com
The answer is so obvious. The most despicable HKer aka Chief Executive 689 is not elected by HK people. He and his secretaries are hand picked by the CCP.
frederickchan
Agreed. The HKSAR Govt is running the risk of making itself the laughing stock of the world. This is to no one's benefit. It is an extreme example of how domestic bad publicity no matter how misconceived can strongly influence this govt to the extent all sensible policy is overridden. It is something that goes to the root of the crisis of govt here since the handover. The govt of the day does not have the confidence of the population and is insecure in its mandate or legitimacy to rule.
skywalker
Hong Kong does not even have toops or specialists units to help the Philippines. China - Hong Kong's ruler and Master - donated the huge amount of 100K USD. The USA has to come to show China and it's HK Appendix how humanitarian aid works. What a great picture of China nad Hong Kong this gives to the world! Hong Kong should not think that it is so important and it should not think that its "sanctions" would make a difference.
heyhello2468
I am disappointed the Hong Kong government will push through with these harsh sanctions at a time when these are the least of the Philippines' concerns. Things are already bad here; don't make it worse.
I agree that both sides should reach a mutual agreement, but for heaven's sake, NOW IS NOT THE TIME. Don't wait for my country's government to appeal; you know that we can't deal with your sanctions at a time like this. You're going too far. This is not the time for your revenge.
(And for the record, the Philippines nor the Philippine government is the bad guy of 8/23/10. Mendoza is. He is widely considered as a traitor in our country. It was a grave insult that our flag was draped over his casket. I still agree with the compensation for the victims' families, but apologies are in order only for the reason that the crime was committed in our country, not because the government and nation in general is responsible.)
yuewei
I used to be proud to be a Hong Kong citizen, now I am ashamed. Never ever have I experienced a worse scene of small minded,yet grand standing hypocrites as in this (by now) back water city.
Who on earth are these banana throwing idiots to claim that they are "fighting for the rights of Hong Kong people" ?? Morons to be remembered by nothing than trying to gain political advandage by the most undemocratic means imanigeable, yet claiming to stand for full democracy. What a sad joke.

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