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  • Apr 19, 2014
  • Updated: 9:06am
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Philippine Congressman Winston Castelo calls for retaliation against Hong Kong in hostage tragedy row

Congressman calls for sanctions against Hong Kong in response to end of officials' visa-free arrangement as hostage tragedy row deepens

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 February, 2014, 3:59am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 February, 2014, 9:23am

A Philippine congressman has called for retaliatory sanctions against Hong Kong, a move that threatens to escalate the dispute over the Manila hostage tragedy.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced on Wednesday that Hong Kong would cancel 14-day visa-free arrangements for Philippine officials and diplomatic passport holders after Manila failed to respond to all of its demands over the 2010 bus siege, in which eight Hongkongers died.

Watch: The 2010 Philippine hostage-taking incident

It is Hong Kong's first-ever sanctions against a foreign country, but the measures are unlikely to force Philippine President Benigno Aquino to back down.

In Manila, Congressman Winston Castelo, a member of Aquino's party, yesterday called on the president to retaliate.

"We don't know yet their [Hong Kong's] plans about extending the sanctions to our ordinary citizens, but we should come out with our retaliation," Castelo was quoted as saying by the Philippine Star.

Political analyst Ramon Casiple told the South China Morning Post that Congress - which is packed with Aquino's allies - would certainly support the president's refusal to apologise because "it is a very partisan issue".

He said lawmakers might even pass a resolution urging the Philippine government to impose similar sanctions against Hong Kong.

Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, said many lawmakers believed retaliatory sanctions could pressure Hong Kong officials to reopen dialogue with Manila.

He accused Leung's administration of trying to escalate the issue "in order to find its place in the world". But Casiple said he believed the Philippine side would "tread lightly" given that there were more than 100,000 Filipino workers in Hong Kong.

The call for retaliatory measures came as the Chinese embassy in Manila detailed Hong Kong's sanctions against Philippine officials.

Under the new measures, which are set to come into force on Wednesday, all Philippine diplomatic passport holders are required to submit their personal bank documents and tax receipts to Hong Kong authorities before entering the city or just transiting through the airport. Those in transit are also required to provide proof of their next destination and itinerary.

The application process could take up to a month, with visa fees ranging from 1,600 pesos (HK$272) to 3,300 pesos, the embassy website said.

Hua Zhang, the deputy chief of the embassy's political section, sent an e-mail to Philippine media defending Hong Kong's actions against Manila.

In the e-mail, Hua said the bus hostage tragedy "affects the feelings of the Chinese, including Hong Kong compatriots. The central government supports the efforts made by the Hong Kong SAR government for proper settlement of the follow-up matters".

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michael.michael.1447342
It's only going to be a matter of time before the Philippines apologize for the incident once later rounds of sanctions kicks in. If they couldn't find jobs for the 80,000 OFWs in Taiwan, what makes you think they can find jobs for the 160,000 OFWs in Taiwan? Remember this article:
****globalnation.inquirer.net/74885/no-alternative-for-filipino-workers-in-taiwan-says-recruitment-expert
isko.n.bayan
Hong Kong, compensation was already given. You just want the word apology and not deepest regret. HongKonger trolls are now flooding a Philippine online news portal. They are asserting your superiority. What a shame. You can do better than this.
sterobertshk
What is it with Hong Kong and it's sense if entitlement and superiority? Many foreigners were killed in the Bali bombings and the governments of Australia, the US and other countries did not demand apologies and compensation from Indonesia. The Philippines government did not orchestrate this tragedy so why should they apologize or pay compensation? Grow up Hong Kong and get over this. You aren't entitled to an apology. A lone mad man did this not the Philippines people or their government.
guy.pant
No, not just a lone mad man, but Philippine police recklessly fired and also kill hostages.
Camel
It is correct that a lone mad man did pull the trigger but it is also fact that the "police squad", the so called special anti terror team, which obviously had been trained in Disney Land, cause the killings.
isko.n.bayan
Those were only the local police. They were not the Special Action Force (Tagaligtas) like those asked to intervene during the Oakwood Mutiny. Don't look down on a country because of some mistakes of a few citizens. In hostage situations, there is possibility that hostages died during exchange of fire. Even Filipino hostages died abroad too like what happened in Algeria but the Philippine government and its people didn't ask for any apology.
Compensation was given to the families of the Manila hostage crisis and the Philippines has already expressed deepest regret and condolences.
isko.n.bayan
Well said. I bet these people didn't even read the whole official statement by the Philippine government regarding this matter. They can read it online through the Department of Foreign Affairs website. Read comments that they really want the word apology and can't accept the phrase deepest regret.
They feel superior but they don't seem to get it that people actually see them as hypocrites.
michael.michael.1447342
What happened in Bali is a totally different subject. The bombing in Bali was a terrorist attack, there was no one to talk too before the attack occurred. In the bus hostage massacre, the Philippine had plenty of time to negotiate and rescue the hostages.
rene.sarabia.12
In this conflict between the Philippines and Hong Kong. The Philippines has the upper hand, morally. Forget about using the maids issue. The Philippine government can simply arrest and deport all of the smugglers, illegal immigrants and drug syndicates of Manila which are primarily Chinese in nature, back to their headquarters Hong Kong. In retaliation for the "Demand for an official Apology", the Philippine government can always demand an official apology for the Chinese piracy hurting our industries and deport all the Chinese Triads corrupting the businesses here back to Hong Kong, where another article here said: "Was a booming market for illegal drugs".
Just like how they booed our football team with racist epithats only to be defeated by them seconds later, this "threat" from Hong Kong will boomerang back at them and hit them in their snotty arrogant faces.
horsey.bean.3
Winston Castelo has had one too many coconuts hitting him upside the head. Hong Kong has set into place legitimate concerns of reparation with apology to the victim's family. Are you kidding me Costelo coming up with you own sanctions??? I suggest you think about your action before causing greater economical harm to your own country. Your sense of pride for you fellow countrymen is poorly misplaced. 100,000 Filipinos are employed in Hong Kong. It contributes greatly to your country's overall economy, not mention the wellness and happiness of your country. Stop throwing rocks at your glass house. Your rhetoric is pathetic, please go back to the region you came from. In fact, Leung should deport all workers with visas from your contingency. Your government owes the Hong Kong people a formal apology along with reparations for the pain and suffering you have cause these families.

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