Hong Kong announces the first phase of visa sanctions for Philippines
Ambassadorial passport holders and the government officials of Philippines will not be able to visit Hong Kong without a visa effective February 5, 2014. This was announced by the Hong Kong government declaring the first phase of visa sanctions for Philippines.
Leung Chun-ying who is the chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has announced in a press meet on Jan 29, 2014 that the government of Philippines has failed to apologize for the Manila hostage crisis that happened in 2010.
Eight of the Hong Kong tourists in Philippines were seized for hostage and were killed during a rescue process undertaken by the former policeman Rolando Mendoza. He along with the tour guide were also killed during the process. This rescue operation is considered to be a failure.
The day after the formal declaration made by Hong Kong regarding the visa sanctions, Raul Hernandez, the spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in a press conference restated that Philippines would not apologize again formally.
Hernandez also stated that a permanent closure was already accomplished in 2011 with the former Hong Kong government and also with the families of the victims but the present Hong Kong government is asking for a formal apology again. He considers this to be unfortunate and says that Philippines, being a sovereign country, is not ready to apologize again.
Al Francis Bichara, the Representative of Albay, informed the government of Philippines that more undesirable sanctions would turn up until and unless an official apology is expressed.
Conversely Gus Tambunting, the representative of Paranaque, said that Philippines must not confess as the sanctions laid by Hong Kong are too intense.
As of December 2012, according to the statistics provided by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, there are 195 Filipinos in Hong Kong out of which 128 are permanent residents.