China tells PH to pay attention to concerns of hostage crisis victims

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

CHINA has asked the Philippines on Tuesday to take effective measures that will address the demands of the victims of the 2010 Luneta hostage crisis.

"The Chinese government's position on the Hong Kong hostage crisis is consistent and clear. We urge the Philippine government to pay high attention to the requirements and concerns of the families of the victims, take concrete and effective measures and work out a proper solution as soon as possible," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said in a statement.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying discussed the hostage crisis during their meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders' Meeting that is being held in Bali, Indonesia.

Xi agreed to follow up the issue with the Philippine government.

"We support the Hong Kong SAR government in staying in close communication and coordination with the Philippine government on this issue," Hua added.

She said that mainland China, which has jurisdiction over Hong Kong albeit allowing them to have special administrative powers, conveyed to the Philippine government their position over the issue through diplomatic channel.

Raul Hernandez, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman, said in a text message that he has yet to receive information "on the result of the meeting between the President [Benigno Aquino III] and Chief Executive Leung."

President Aquino met with Leung to discuss updates on the 2010 Manila hostage crisis where eight Hong Kong tourists were killed during a botched rescue attempt by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Aquino told the media at the sidelines of this year's APEC Summit that the Hong Kong chief executive asked for the meeting, which focused on the hostage crisis. Since the incident, Hong Kong has raised the black travel alert to the Philippines, warning its citizens against traveling to the island because of the threat of crimes.

The President explained the Philippine government's side on the issue that it neglected the request of Hong Kong for a public apology on the tragedy.

He pointed out that the government is not at fault because there is one lone gunman--a dismissed former police officer--responsible for the tragedy.

Aquino also extended the government's "sincerest condolences and deepest regret" to the officials and families of the hostage victims.

The meeting between the two officials took place after some Hong Kong journalists covering the summit reportedly shouted questions at Aquino regarding the Manila hostage crisis.

The Hong Kong journalists were kicked out of the APEC summit in Bali for heckling Aquino last Sunday.

APEC host Indonesia denied stifling press freedom after withdrawing the accreditation of the nine journalists for shouting questions at the Philippine President, insisting they had posed a security threat. (CVB/Sunnex)

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