The Philippines and Hong Kong have finally resolved their differences over the hostage- taking in Rizal Park (Luneta) in 2010 that led to the killing of several Chinese tourists.
This was announced by Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Wednesday, a day after former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and other government officials arrived in Hong Kong.
“[Cabinet] Secretary Rene Almendras confirmed that the relationship between the Philippines and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is now back to normal,” Coloma told reporters.
The victims and their families’ four demands for an apology, compensation, sanctions against responsible officials and individuals, and tourist safety measures, will be settled.
The Philippine government gave assurances that it will hold to account those responsible for the incident and keep Hong Kong officials informed of the progress made in resolving the outstanding proceedings.
It also pledged to ensure that such incident will not happen again.
“We join the Department of Foreign Affairs in acknowledging the statement of Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung on the complete and final resolution of the Quirino Grandstand incident of 23 August 2010 and the lifting of the sanctions,” Coloma said.
The statement released by Hong Kong on Wednesday said the issue of an apology had been settled by the Philippine government expressing “its most sorrowful regret and profound sympathy.”
The Philippines had already provided undisclosed financial compensation to victims and their relatives, with the money donated by private individuals.
The statement said more financial compensation would be given, although there were no details.
“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.
He also thanked Estrada “for his initiative that has contributed to the national government’s efforts to reach this desired outcome.”