• Fri
  • Sep 19, 2014
  • Updated: 12:57pm
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong cancels visa-free privileges for Philippine officials and diplomats

Government cancels diplomatic passport privileges in retaliation for Manila's failure to meet demands over 2010 tourist bloodbath

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 January, 2014, 6:12pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 January, 2014, 10:50am

Hong Kong will cancel visa-free arrangements for Philippine official and diplomatic passport holders in its first sanctions against a foreign state.

The measure, imposed in retaliation for the country's failure to respond all of the city's demands after the 2010 Manila hostage bloodbath, takes effect on Wednesday.

While Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said it came after discussions between the two governments this week bore no fruit, international-relations experts said the cancellation could be related to tension between Beijing and Manila over the South China Sea.

Survivors and victims' relatives have been asking for a formal apology, compensation, punishment of responsible officials and improved tourist safety.

They rejected an apology from Manila mayor Joseph Estrada in August as insincere, but found responses to the other three requests satisfactory. A black warning - the highest - against travel to the Philippines remains in force.

Leung said cancellation of the 14-day visa-free arrangements for the two categories of passport-holders, of whom up to 800 visit Hong Kong each year, was the just the first phase of sanctions. Existing accredited Philippines consular officials will not be affected by the measures.

He said the government received the latest message from Manila on Monday, but discussions were fruitless.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing supported Hong Kong in its efforts regarding the hostage crisis. The Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong did not respond to inquiries last night but a formal response from Manila is expected today .

On August 23, 2010, sacked policeman Rolando Mendoza took 22 Hong Kong tourists and three Filipinos captive on their coach. He shot dead seven tourists and their guide before being killed in a bungled rescue.

Watch: Philippine bus hostage-taking incident

Veteran China watcher Johnny Lau Yui-siu, said Beijing must have endorsed the decision as Hong Kong had limited power in matters of foreign relations.

Dr David Zweig, chair professor of the social science department at the University of Science and Technology, said Beijing "certainly" would not have opposed the sanction decision, adding: "Beijing is not very happy with the Philippines these days."

But he said sanctions could be unwise if talks are continuing.

Tse Chi-kin, brother of killed tour guide Masa Tse Ting-chunn, and injured survivor Yik Siu-ling welcomed the move. "At least it's an unprecedented step to show the Hong Kong and Beijing governments do care," Tse said.

In November, the Philippines gave an undisclosed amount to Yik, who had facial reconstruction surgery costing HK$1 million in Taiwan to repair damage from a bullet through her jaw.


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This article is now closed to comments

Allan94, no need to spread your bigotry and prejudice. There are good and bad people in every country and racial group.
i wouldnt call it balls. I call it stupidity, brought abt by politicians & idiots like yourself. HK people need to get off their high horse & get into the real world
Dai Muff
Oh grow up. HK people should not be killed in negligent car crashes on the mainland. Guess what? They are.
And by banning Filipino workers in HK this fixes nothing on what occurred in 2010. There would be as much HKers tears as Filipinos . Apologies have been made, the victims hv been compensated by the travel agency's insurer and everyone that saw the hostage rescue is horrified by the incompetence and in effectiveness of the Manila police. Its no doubt a tragedy. CY is doing a balancing act by sanctioning diplomats and business travellers as a warning and therefore be seen to be doing something but not affecting tourism or employment.
chanaa, please look at the footage of how the rescue was performed, how inefficient the Philippine National Police was. They even refused a fully trained unit to take part in the rescue operation. For that Aquino do need to apologize. Incidentally have you seen senior commanders away for their evening meal during a hostage situation? All of the responsible senior officers and the secretary in charge of Metro Manila Police were away from the scene for supper.
you watched it all on tv right ? Read the hk papers & listen to the brainless politicians ?
I did too carmeledwin, but i used my brains to filter off the ****.
I would suggest CY & HK apologise for not protecting the abused indon maid, but then again, how do you control the action of one stupid HK woman ?
I hope this discourages foreign maids to come to Hong Kong. The price of this help must be increased. Right now even the lowest rungs of society, low education, low quality human filth have access to these maids.
You clearly do not know what your talking about. A person in Hong Kong must have a certain amount of income a month and certain level of assets to be able to hire a foreign maid. No poor person in Hong Kong will have that kind of asset or income.
It's not the amount of income that defines low quality in society. there are rich people who are the filth of the earth for mistreating other human beings. I'm sure some of the employers who tortured thei helpers, were financially stable. unfortunately, they seem to be mentally unstable!
Yes, it should be reserved for the filthy rich!




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