HONG KONG: A Hong Kong woman who was shot in the face during a deadly 2010 hostage crisis in the Philippines has become the first to receive a payout from Manila as talks over threatened sanctions continue.
The Hong Kong government came in for harsh criticism for sticking to its sanctions threat, even after the Philippines was left devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
It is holding out for a formal apology from the Philippines over the hostage incident, which left eight Hong Kong tourists dead and seven injured after a former police officer hijacked a Manila tour bus.
But in a joint statement from the Hong Kong and Philippine governments, President Benigno Aquino agreed to give an undisclosed amount to Yik Siu-ling,36, who lost more than half her jaw in the shooting.
“President Aquino, having heard of the urgent need of Ms. Yik for surgeries, instructed (his cabinet secretary) to turn over to the HKSAR Government an additional token of solidarity to defray the cost of imminent surgeries,” the statement said.
The compensation was donated from Filipino businessmen “as a manifestation of the Filipinos’ humane consideration of the plight of the victims and their families”, it said, without specifying the amount given.
Tse Chi-kin, whose tour guide younger brother Masa was killed, said Wednesday that the Philippines had “done the right thing” by giving compensation to Yik.
“It’s necessary for her to have her surgery, it helps her to continue her life,” he told Agence France-Presse.
“I’m feeling positive on the negotiations because I think both governments have been trying to settle this issue as soon as possible.”