Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hong Kong imposes sanctions Against Philippines over 2010 hostage deaths

HONG KONG - Hong Kong (HK) has announced the removal of visa-free access for all Philippine diplomatic and official passport holders after Manila failed to issue a formal apology for a deadly hostage-taking in 2010.

The victims' families of eight HK tourists who were killed in the Manila shooting have demanded an apology and compensation, punishment for officials who dealt with the crisis and enhanced tourist safety, in a row that has soured ties.

Hong Kong and the Philippines have close economic relations, with more than 100,000 Filipino domestic helpers working in the city, but emotions still run high over the killing of the tourists on a bus by a sacked police officer who opened fire amid a bungled rescue attempt.

"The sanctions we just announced are just and justified. We welcome the continuation of dialogue between us and the Philippines to bring the matter to a final conclusion," Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying told a news briefing.

The sanction will take effect next Wednesday, when Philippine diplomatic and official passport holders will no longer enjoy 14-day visa-free access.


Please take note that "Ordinary passport holders" are people like you and me, and still not affected by this sanction. 

Official passport holders are diplomats or consular officers which are stationed elsewhere.

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