MANILA, Jan. 30 -- The Philippine government rejected again on Thursday the demand of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government to make a formal apology for the 2010 Manila hostage-taking which left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.
"The Philippines had already expressed its deepest regret and condolences over the incident," Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said in a statement.
The statement was issued after Hong Kong SAR government announced on Wednesday that it would cancel visa-free visits by Philippine officials because the Philippine government failed to apologize for the deaths of Hong Kong tourists almost four years ago.
Meanwhile, Hernandez said the Philippine government regrets the Hong Kong SAR government's implementation of sanction against the Philippines.
Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung announced that the sanction would take effect on Feb. 5 by suspending 14-day visa-free treatment for holders of the Philippine diplomatic and service passports.
According to Leung, the suspension of the courtesy treatment would be the initial measure of sanction.
A dismissed police officer took a busload of tourists hostage in central Manila on Aug. 23, 2010 to demand his reinstatement in the police force. A botched police rescue attempt prompted him to open fire on his hostages before he was himself gunned down. Eight Hong Kong tourists were killed along with their hostage-taker.