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DFA on HK sanctions: Hostage crisis had its closure

Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - January 30, 2014 - 3:52pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) called the new travel sanctions of Hong Kong against Manila regrettable even as diplomatic measures to address the hostage crisis in 2010 have been initiated.

"The sanction is unfortunate because a substantive closure on the Quirino Grandstand incident had already been arrived at three years ago with the previous Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region) government and the victims as well as their families," Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez said in a radio report Thursday.

Hong Kong has repeatedly demanded an apology from Malacañang  over the bungled police rescue where eight Hong Kong tourists and their guide were killed in a hostage situation.

On Wednesday, Hong Kong announced an end to visa-free visits of Philippine government officials beyond 14 days starting February 5.

Despite the sanctions, Hernandez said the Philippines "as a sovereign nation" is "not prepared to consider" an apology.

Read: No more visa-free visits to HK for Phl officials

Hernandez said DFA is preparing to reiterate the country's condolences to the families of the victims and will also extend some forms of compensation.

"To bring the issue to its final conclusion, the Philippines remains committed to manifest compassion to the victims and their relatives, and is ready to turnover the additional tokens of solidarity from the Filipino people," he said.

In November 2013, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras traveled to Hong Kong to deliver the Philippines' assistance of P2.28 million to one of the victims who needed urgent surgery.

The payout was the first given by Manila to the hostage crisis survivors.

Read: Philippines gives first compensation to Hong Kong bus hostage victim

Also read: Bus siege victim recovers from Manila-backed P2.28-M surgery

CABINET SECRETARY JOSE RENE ALMENDRAS DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS FOREIGN AFFAIRS HERNANDEZ HONG HONG KONG IN NOVEMBER KONG ON WEDNESDAY QUIRINO GRANDSTAND
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