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Estrada to try to negotiate with HK on visa restrictions

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Despite Hong Kong’s suspension of visa-free privileges for holders of diplomatic and official Philippine passports, the government continues to refuse to issue an apology for the death of eight Hong Kong tourists during a hostage crisis in Manila in 2010.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said yesterday he will still try to negotiate with Hong Kong authorities.

“It will be a joint effort with the national government,” he said.

Vice President Jejomar Binay appealed to Hong Kong authorities to exclude overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the visa restrictions.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the new policy will have no impact on OFWs because the issuance of working visas has not been cancelled.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the  government regrets Hong Kong’s new requirement of visas for Philippine officials and diplomatic passport holders.

DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said the sanction is unfortunate because a substantive closure on the hostage crisis had already been arrived at three years ago with the previous Hong Kong government and the victims, as well as their families.

“A renewed appeal for compassion was directly made to our government last October 2013,” he said.

“We responded to this appeal without equivocation and in a most generous manner. Additional tokens of solidarity have therefore been pledged by the Filipino people at the behest of the Philippine government. – With Jose Rodel Clapano, Mayen Jaymalin

 

 

 

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DESPITE HONG KONG GOVERNMENT HONG KONG LABOR SECRETARY ROSALINDA BALDOZ MANILA MAYOR JOSEPH ESTRADA MAYEN JAYMALIN RAUL HERNANDEZ VICE PRESIDENT JEJOMAR BINAY WITH JOSE RODEL CLAPANO
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