Hong Kong withdraws visa-free privilege for PH gov’t officials as part of sanctions on PH for the Luneta hostage crisis

What sanction will they impose next?

Agence France-Presse reports (via InterAksyon.com) that the Hong Kong government has suspended the visa-free privilege of Philippine officials and diplomatic passport holders as part of the "first phase of sanctions" on the Philippines for its "alleged failure to resolve to Hong Kong's satisfaction the August 2010 bus hostage crisis."

The report quoted Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying as saying in an article published in the South China Morning Post that "the current visa-free arrangement for visiting Filipino diplomats and officials will be suspended from February 5." At present, Filipino officials can stay at the former British colony for 14 days without a visa.


Leung warned that the Hong Kong government "may take more action if it thinks it could be 'effective' in securing an apology over the 2010 hostage taking." Eight Hong Kong tourists died in the incident, which started when a disgruntled Filipino police officer held all the passengers of a tourist bus hostage in Luneta.


President Benigno Aquino III has been adamant in refusing to issue an apology for the tragedy, although the Philippine government recently began convincing the survivors to accept its offer of medical assistance.


For more on this story, log on to InterAksyon.com.

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