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    Posted February 5, 2014 by

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    HK’s visa sanction on Phl takes effect

    THE government asked overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong to stay calm after the visa sanction it imposed on Philippine officials and diplomats took effect Wednesday.
    Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government is ready to address whatever consequences, if any, to the sanction.
    “Our message to our citizens working in Hong Kong SAR is to remain calm,” Coloma said, adding that the government is prepared for the possibilities that would rise from the apprehensions of the action.
    The visa sanction imposed by Hong Kong was done as an action against the Philippine government’s refusal to apologize for what the Hong Kong government described as a “mishandled” Manila hostage incident in 2010.
    About eight Hong Kong tourists were killed while others were injured during the incident which happened inside a tourist bus.
    President Benigno Aquino also reaffirmed his decision of having no plans to apologize since the action was taken by a deranged individual and not by the government.
    At the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez said in a text message that the DFA, for its part, has done every possible measure to resolve the issue.
    “It will be unfortunate if the victims and their families will not be able to accept more generous gestures of solidarity from the Filipino people,” Hernandez said.
    “If Hong Kong will signify acceptance of such gestures, the Philippines is willing to convey these gestures for the benefit of the affected families as soon as possible,” he added.
    Hernandez also called on Hong Kong authorities to be “sober” and to “reflect rationally” on the issue and assured that the DFA remained committed to protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of OFWs in Hong Kong.
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