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Philippines gives first compensation to Hong Kong bus hostage victim

Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - November 19, 2013 - 6:13pm

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III asked Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras to return to Hong Kong to hand over the Philippines' "additional token of solidarity" to one of the victims of the 2010 hostage crisis.

Yik Siu Ling, one of those trapped in a bus with a disgruntled former police officer Rolando Mendoza in the 2010 tragedy in Manila's Rizal Park, was given the amount needed for an urgent surgery.

"President Aquino ... instructed Secretary Almendras to turn over to (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) government an additional token of solidarity to defray the cost of imminent surgeries," a joint statement of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Hong Kong on Tuesday said.

Related: HK solons OK withdrawal of Pinoys' visa-free entry

Alemendras and Hong Kong Chief Executive's Office director Edward Yau were designated representatives to address the tension involving the two countries in connection with the demands of the four living victims and their families.

The undisclosed amount was donated by Filipino businessmen "as a manifestation of the Filipinos' humane consideration of the plight of victims and their families," the statement adds.

The businessmen also hoped that the donation would not compromise the ongoing ministerial level discussions on the demands.

"Both sides are confident that through continuous efforts, the discussions will achieve the objective set out by President Aquino and Chief Executive CY Leung," the statement concludes.

The Cabinet official last made a diplomatic visit to the territory last October 21,

ALEMENDRAS AND HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE CABINET SECRETARY JOSE RENE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS EDWARD YAU HONG KONG HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION PRESIDENT AQUINO PRESIDENT AQUINO AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE RIZAL PARK ROLANDO MENDOZA
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