Hong Kong and the Philippines ended a three-year-old standoff over the 2010 Manila bus hostage tragedy after the victims’ families accepted Manila’s compensation offer Wednesday.
Democratic Party legislator James To, speaking for the victims’ families, said the offer was accepted after its pros and cons had been considered. No amount was mentioned.
“We believe the government has done its best,” said Tse Chi-kin, a brother of one of the eight Hong Kong people who died in the tragedy.
The victims’ families don’t wish to inflict harm on innocent people who might be affected if Hong Kong sanctions on the Philippines over the incident were to continue, Tse said.
The compensation offer came with a statement from the Philippine government expressing its “most sorrowful regret”. It stopped short of an apology from President Benigno Aquino III.
The victims’ families said the language of the statement delivered by Manila mayor and former Philippine president Joseph Estrada did not go far enough.
Estrada met with families of the victims during his visit meant to ease tensions between the two governments.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced his government will remove sanctions on the Philippines, saying the matter has been resolved.
However, the government will continue to monitor the safety of Hong Kong visitors to the Philippines.
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