PH looks forward to resumption of bilateral relations with Hong Kong

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

WITH the dark chapter in the relations between the Philippines and Hong Kong seemingly over already, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it is already looking forward to the actual normalization of the two countries bilateral relations.

In a brief statement, the DFA said they are hoping that there will be no more stumbling blocks in the return of the good working relationships between Hong Kong and the Philippines.

"The Philippines looks forward to working with the Hong Kong SAR government in turning a new page in bilateral relations," said the DFA.

The statement comes after the Hong Kong government accepted the apology initiated by the City Government of Manila.

In addition, the Philippines, through Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, has also met other demands made by Hong Kong, particularly on the proper compensation for the victims of the bus hostage crisis and their families.

In turn, the Hong Kong government ordered immediately the lifting of the sanctions imposed by the Special Administrative Region against the Philippines.

"The department welcomes the statement made by Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive CY Leung on the complete and final resolution of the Quirino grandstand incident of August 23, 2010 and the lifting of sanctions," said the DFA.

In a related development, the Hong Kong SAR has already lowered its Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) for the Philippines from "Black" to "Amber."

Under the "Amber" level, the Hong Kong government still sees "signs of threat" that requires monitoring of the situation and exercise of caution.

"Hong Kong residents, who intend to visit the country or are already there, should monitor the situation, exercise caution and attend to personal safety," said the Hong Kong Security Bureau.

In turn, the Hong Kong Security Bureau said it will continue to closely monitor the situation in the Philippines and issue necessary updates.

It can be recalled that the Hong Kong government had immediately raised the "Black" OTA against the Philippines after the botched rescue operations of the hostages, which are mainly Hong Kong nationals.

Back in August 23, 2010, a disgruntled policeman held hostage a tourist bus in Manila, which ended with a failed rescue operation resulting to the death of eight Hong Kong tourists. (HDT/Sunnex)

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