Hong Kong Won’t Delay Sanctions Against the Philippines
Image Credit: Wikicommons

Hong Kong Won’t Delay Sanctions Against the Philippines


Hong Kong has no plans to delay economic sanctions against the Philippines, despite the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan, Filipino media reported on Tuesday, citing Hong Kong media outlets.

Last week, Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced plans to impose economic sanctions against the Philippines unless it met the demands of the victims of the 2010 Rizal Park hostage-taking incident within one month.

His call was answered by Hong Kong’s Legislative Council who last week passed a non-binding resolution calling for economic sanctions and an end visa-free entry into Hong Kong for Filipinos. Many Filipinos work in Hong Kong. The legislature is now considering passing a bill to implement economic sanctions.

According to Philippine news sources, which cited Hong Kong sources, on Tuesday Hong Kong announced that it does not plan to delay the sanctions on account of the super typhoon that has wrecked parts of the Philippines and left over 1,800 people dead.

Leung said of the sanctions: “We have been in contact with the Philippine government over the last couple of days and they have not raised the question of extending the deadline” by which the Philippine government must meet the demands of the Hong Kong victims.

One Hong Kong legislator dismissed the idea of delaying sanctions, arguing that there was no link between the recent storm and the 2010 bus incident.

“I wouldn’t agree to delaying the sanction. I think we should, on one hand, provide humanitarian relief to the best we can if that is being called for, but, on the other hand, the hostage incident is a matter of justice for the Hong Kong people and especially the victims,” said Fernando Cheung, a Hong Kong lawmaker.

Other lawmakers said that Hong Kong should stay in contact with the Philippines government to see if a delay was needed.

Earlier in the week it appeared that Hong Kong was going to delay the sanctions when a lawmaker shelved the bill to implement them.

The Manila hostage crisis occurred in the Philippine capital in 2010. A disgruntled Philippine police officer who had lost his job took a coach full of mostly Hong Kong residents hostage in a desperate attempt to win his job back. After an 8-hour standoff a gun fight ensued between police and the hostage taker, which left eight of the Hong Kong tourists dead and injured seven others. The shootout was broadcast live on TV and on the Internet.

In separate investigations both the Philippines government and the Hong Kong government identified the Philippine police’s handling of the situation as a factor that led to the deaths.

Hong Kong is demanding an apology from the Philippine President Benigno Aquino, compensation for survivors and the families of the deceased, and that the officials involved in trying to free the hostages are held accountable. Although the new mayor of the city of Manila apologized earlier this year — citing that it was Manila police under the mayor’s command who tried to free the hostage — Hong Kong has demanded that Aquino himself apologize.

The Philippine government has said it is quietly trying to resolve the issue with Hong Kong authorities behind the scenes.

Despite the threat of sanctions, Leung has said that all requests for aid relating to the typhoon will be processed according to “procedure and humanitarian policy.” He was also expected to ask the Legislative Council for US$5.1 million in assistance for the Philippines. This is considerably more than the US$200,000 China has said it will give to the Philippines and the Red Cross in the wake of the damage.

February 5, 2014 at 13:15

Why would our government apologized to a province of China?

They wanted to get our attention but I dont’ think we should get fooled by it. It’s embarrassing from a sovereign country to a province country such as hong kong they’re just mere milking cow for China and a new turning to be a good dog for them now!

February 2, 2014 at 23:57

@Juan dela Cruz

Just to let you know that I just found out other Singaporeans don’t like Filipinos too. I don’t see myself and my family visiting that place again and HK. Those Singaporeans were even glad that Haiyan happened and many people died. It’s online. You can google it.

January 31, 2014 at 21:34

Wow… what a threat! Really now? Is Hong Kong still that strategic to the Philippines? I don’t think so… If I will read the moves of Philippine government, they don’t see HK as a threat to economic development so why be bothered. If they will not delay sanctions, then bring it on HK government. In the end, HK is not economically relevant to PH anymore. OFWs working in HK, they can come back and fill-in labor shortages in the country. What is in HK that PH cannot provide? Oh, there is SARS and H1N1. Scary…

January 4, 2014 at 21:21

“Hong Kong is demanding an apology from the Philippine President Benigno Aquino, compensation for survivors and the families of the deceased, and that the officials involved in trying to free the hostages are held accountable. Although the new mayor of the city of Manila apologized earlier this year — citing that it was Manila police under the mayor’s command who tried to free the hostage — Hong Kong has demanded that Aquino himself apologize.”

I used to be quite sympathetic to those who lost loved ones in that bus massacre incident. Thanks to this kind of Han chauvinistic arrogance however, my sympathies have waned.

HK wants to punish the whole Filipino race (which it treats with much contempt even at the best of times), for the criminal actions of a lone gunman?

If it was President Aquino who personally shot and killed those people in the bus, then he should be made to apologize. But it was not him who did the shooting and any mistakes in the handling of the incident was the responsibility of the local city authorities.

These sanctions are all just another brazen display of racial arrogance by the Han supremacists who think it is well within their rights to bully another nation’s president and blackmail a whole archipelago due to an isolated incident.

December 8, 2013 at 22:02

planning to visit hongkong next year with all my family but with this? no way im gonna spend money in there i we better go singapore. they dont like us we dont like them either.

November 30, 2013 at 18:08

what is hong kong waiting for… stop rich filipinos from travelling to your city… Do it NOW…Don’t even require a VISA … we stand by the wisdom of our president…

November 27, 2013 at 12:21

I want to express my deepest sympathy to those family that lost their loved ones in this tragedy. but i dont think it’s right that the president should apologize in this matter. this is a doing of a one crazy person. like ex. an american goes to philippines and killed a filipina. so you mean president barrack obama should apologize to the philippines?

November 30, 2013 at 18:00

you’re so right…. was China asked to apologize for their crazy bomber that hit the family of doctors? or years back for hacking to death the Madrigal family… there’s probably a million chinese in Tiananmen why hack to death the Madrigals…

November 22, 2013 at 12:35

other than the end to visa free entry, the philippines should impose its own visit HK for a fee so that enough money would be raised for the displaced Filipino workers suffering the indignation heaped on them everyday… amke it more painful for the politicians who spend their weekend shopping sprees and vacation to Hong Kong…

November 15, 2013 at 12:24

Yes I understand HKers see HK as their country. But the point is, isn't it more meaningful if the ones responsible are the the actual ones apologizing? It shouldn't be a matter of, oh HK is a country and so we need the leader of another country to be the one to apologize. The President and Phil government has expressed sympathy and condolences, so have the Manila city government, which is the government unit responsible for the Manila police and their failed actions. This is how it differs from HK where the HK government is responsible for the HK police force.

But more importantly, pls don't forget the tragedy was due to the crazed actions of a lone gunman. He is the criminal, not the Filipino people.

November 30, 2013 at 18:05

you’re also very right… the problem is we have so many philippine tourist going to hongkong and none vice versa… what we should do is impose exit permits for travellers to hongkong on leisure purposes …if they can afford to go there for vacation and shop for inferior chinese products impose immediately a penalty like a tax on whatever they buy and spend in hong kong…

November 15, 2013 at 03:50

You mean like how the US murdered thousands of innocent Iraqi children by sanctioning Iraq under false pretenses prior to US illegal invasion in 2003? Or how the US repeated its modus operanti in Libya, or how the US is trying to do it again vs Iran?

November 15, 2013 at 01:34

I want to be a "persona-non-grata" for Hong Kong!  I travel a lot, and really a lot every year not only in Hong Kong but in Europe and other countries. I loved Hong Kong but it doesn't matter if I can't visit it anymore. There are other places much better than HK to visit.  I therefore want to be a "persona-non-grata" for Hong Kong as well, if that is the case!   

November 15, 2013 at 01:33

I want to be a "persona-non-grata" for Hong Kong as well!

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