Palace: Philippines, Hong Kong relations back to normal

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014


THE relationship between the Philippines and Hong Kong is back to normal, Malacanang said Wednesday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that this was the message conveyed by Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras after meeting with Hong Kong officials regarding how to put closure on the 2010 hostage taking incident wherein eight tourists from Hong Kong were killed at Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

"I have just talked with Secretary Rene Almendras. He confirmed that the relationship between the Philippines and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is now back to normal," he said.

He said Malacanang joins the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in acknowledging the statement of Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung on the complete and final resolution of the incident and the lifting of the sanctions against the Philippines.

"I have conveyed to the President the report of Secretary Almendras and he expressed satisfaction that final closure and a mutually satisfactory conclusion has been reached," Coloma said.

Leung has issued a separate statement in which he thanked Aquino and the Philippine government on this auspicious development, he added quoting Almendras.

Asked if the Philippine government offered an apology to Hong Kong, Coloma said, "We all know the elements that were being sought for such an agreement.

"One was on the aspect of the government saying sorry, and I think that has been adequately addressed, as proved by the fact that they have agreed that a mutually satisfactory solution has been reached. That implies that they have acknowledged that we have addressed that matter satisfactorily," he said.

Coloma said Palace thanks Estrada for his help in the resolution of the issue.

"We would like to thank former President and Mayor Estrada for his initiative that has contributed to the national government’s efforts to reach this desired outcome," he said.

Almendras, who denied on Tuesday that he was with Estrada in Hong Kong, followed the Manila mayor there.

Hong Kong had been demanding for an apology from the Philippine government over the botched rescue operations by the police resulting to the death of the eight Hong Kong tourists and the death of hostage-taker, a dismissed policeman. (SDR/Sunnex)

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