• Thu
  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 5:48am
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong may make 'positive' announcement on Manila hostage tragedy today, says lawmaker

Call from foreign ministry comes as Manila mayor arrives in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 April, 2014, 11:07pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 April, 2014, 3:33pm

Hong Kong could today make a "positive" announcement on the 2010 Manila hostage tragedy, a lawmaker said following a late night meeting with victims' families and government officials.

Speaking on RTHK, Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun, said he had been with some family members until 1am this morning, following yesterday's arrival of Manila's mayor Joseph Estrada.

Estrada and his delegation are expected to offer an official apology to the families affected. “I am not in a position to disclose more details about [our meeting],” To said. “I think the government could be making some announcement later today.”

When asked whether it will be a “breakthrough”, To indicated that it would be something “positive”.

His words appeared to be backed by Tse Chi-kin, brother of killed Hong Kong tour guide Masa Tse Ting-chunn, who uploaded a photo of last night's meeting to Facebook and said he felt “the fight which has lasted for three years and eight months is finally drawing to a close”.

Earlier today the Philippines Secretary to the Cabinet, Jose Rene Almendras, was seen at the VIP exit of the Hong Kong International Airport. He is believed to be joining Estrada. Another Philippine national-level official Alan Purisima, director general of the Philippine National Police is expected to arrive later today, according to Philippine national newspaper the Inquirer.

Beijing's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Qin Gang yesterday urged the Philippine government to speed up its handling of the fall-out from the tragedy and to respond to the "legitimate and lawful" demands of the victims' families.

The families affected by the events of August 23, 2010, when seven Hong Kong tourists and their guide were shot dead, and seven others injured, by a sacked policeman who laid siege to their tour bus, have repeatedly made four demands: an apology, compensation, punishment of the officials responsible and improved tourist safety."

The Chinese government has been urging the Philippine side to seriously respond to the Hong Kong government and to the legitimate and lawful demands of the relatives of the victims," Qin said.

Before his flight from Manila, Estrada - who was accompanied by Manila city councillor Bernardito Ang - told a Philippine news station that he would offer an apology for the "unfortunate incident" and help save the jobs of 160,000 Filipinos in the city.

The former Philippine president said he would also look to offer the families "some sort of compensation" in the area of HK$20 million.

It is yet to be confirmed if Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying would meet the Philippine officials, a spokesman for the Chief Executive said this morning.

A ceremony for the signing of an agreement of apology has been arranged. 

On Monday, Tse Chi-kin, brother of killed Hong Kong tour guide Masa Tse Ting-chunn, said an apology by Estrada would not end the affair.

He said he hoped that a representative at the national level would apologise.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has repeatedly said the crime of an individual should not be construed as an act of the entire country.


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This article is now closed to comments

No need to wave, Mr. Mayor of Philippines, you are not welcome here.
In the end, it was money that did the talking.
How this whole story has been handled in the media - including SCMP - now not nice either. It is tragic enough that it happens, but the constant pouring of oil into the fire by presenting the officials from the Philippines as they are and how they handle their affaires did not shed a good light on Hong Kong's public image as well. Please don't forget, even after the mayor's apology, the Philippines remain one of the most dangerous places for business and tourism in Asia. If after this 1,000s of tourists flock to the Philippines again and get into such trouble again, nobody should complain about it.
The man that previously apologised for this incident and whose apology was petulantly deemed "not sincere enough", has just apologised again. So,everything the same, but this time it's possibly going to be 'thumbs up everything is great!'. That just seems so strange, that now it's apparently all okay. Oh hang on, what's this? H$20 million in compensation? Hmmm, now I'd hate to play the cynic here, but...........
I think if HK gets an apology here from the Philippine side, then the HK government should also apologize to Indonesia for letting the system here in HK fail to protect Erwiana while she was working here................I doubt HK or any of the government officials here are "man" enough to stand up to do this.
Must be a slow news day .. this is an article postulating that there will be news forthcoming.
Its time to end this saga. Once it ends the families of the deceased can get on with their lives normally. I am infuriated though that the Filipino President is saying that the crime of one individual should not be construed as the act of one country. HK people never said that. We are only displeased at how the authorities bungled up the rescue operation and the indignation of officials in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Well I want an apology from the HK government for unlawfully preventing me from leaving HK for over 5 years...I also want compensation...that is why I have lodged an application with the international court of Human rights......HK has the most corrupt legal system in Asia led by one of the most corrupt governments they are very good at hiding the truth and the facts...
I would like to know the precise reason why you are prevented from leaving Hong Kong. Did they keep your passport because they accuse you for committing a crime? Drug dealing? Then wait until your case has been dealt with at court and rest assured, if the judge declass you "not guilty", the HK government will pay you compensation for your then "unlawful" stay.
If the government of HK has, for whatever reasons, unlawfully kept you in HK, I wish you all the best in your bid.
Your statement that HK has the most corrupt legal system in Asia led by one of the most corrupt governments is intriguing. As far as I am concerned, a system may be flawed in its design but not corrupt in itself. To make it corrupt, human intervention is likely required. I am not a legal expert to comment on any legal system and I am not in a position to determine if a government is corrupt or not, however, I would still be interested in knowing which countries' legal systems and governments are you comparing HK's system and government with.




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