Philippines regrets Hong Kong sanction

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine government said regrets new Hong Kong sanctions, but cannot accept a demand that it apologize for the deaths of eight Hong Kong tourists in a 2010 hostage tragedy.

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said Thursday the Philippines has already expressed its deepest regret and condolences over the incident and is ready to increase its "generous offer" of payments to the victims and their families to resolve the issue.

Hong Kong said Wednesday it will end visa-free visits by holders of official Philippine government passports starting Feb. 5. Ordinary Filipino travelers aren't affected.

Relations have soured over a bungled police rescue of the tourists, who were taken hostage on a Manila tour bus by a dismissed police officer. (AP)

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