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Palace: Phl, Hong Kong 'working quietly' over hostage tragedy issues

Louis Bacani - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines and Hong Kong are both taking steps to resolve the issues arising from the 2010 deadly Manila hostage crisis, a Palace official said Wednesday.

In a statement, Presidential Communication Operations Office Sec. Sonny Coloma reiterated the three other concerns of Hong Kong besides its demand of a formal apology from the Philippines.

These concerns are compensation for the affected families of the Hong Kong victims, the prosecution of Filipinos who were deemed responsible for the tragedy, and adoption of preventive measures.

"Both sides are working quietly to address these concerns and reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion," Coloma said.

The Cabinet official said during the meeting of President Benigno Aquino III and Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung in Brunei Darussalam last month, both leaders had agreed the the two countries "will work to reach a mutually satisfactory closure" on the hostage crisis issues.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Hong Kong threatened to sanction the Philippines if there is progress on the issues from the hostage crisis.

"The southern Chinese city's leader, Leung Chun-ying, said if no 'substantial progress' is made within a month, the Hong Kong government will take 'necessary sanction action,'" the report said.

Read: Hong Kong warns Manila of sanctions over hostage tragedy

Aquino has since maintained that the Philippines will not apologize for the act of a dismissed policeman who hostaged and killed several Hong Kong tourists. But the President has also expressed regret over the incident.

"Our position is the act of one individual, who was probably mentally unstable at that point in time, should not be construed as the act of the entire country. And therefore, we reiterated our utmost regret as to what has happened. We offered again our condolences to all who have suffered and died," Aquino told the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines last month.

Related story: PNoy: Still no apology to HK for hostage crisis

AQUINO

ASSOCIATED PRESS

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

BUT THE PRESIDENT

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES

HONG

HONG KONG

HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE

HOSTAGE

KONG

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