DOLE ready assistance to OFW's for possible “ban” on the hiring of Maid workers for Hong Kong

President Benigno S. Aquino III during the 16th ASEAN Plus Three Summit

President Aquino expressed hope that Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying would tell his people about the Philippines' desire to move forward after the 2010 Manila hostage crisis.

Aquino met with Leung at the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia on Monday before proceeding here for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and related meetings.

The President said he explained to Leung the reasons behind the Philippines' refusal to issue a public apology on behalf of a deranged individual who killed eight Hong Kong tourists he took hostage three years ago.

He said the act of a "mentally unstable" individual alone should not make the whole of the Filipinos and the Philippines liable.

The Philippine government had expressed regret and extended its sincere condolences several times and had given necessary assistance, including compensation, to the families of the victims of the hostage crisis.

The government also took measures like increasing the number of tourist police units in the city to prevent the same unfortunate incident from happening again.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang said high-level talks would continue because "we want to put the issue behind us."

Carandang said they were optimistic that both sides would clarify things and take steps to move forward.

The President also said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is ready to assist overseas Filipino workers who might face another threat of a ban on the hiring of Filipino workers in Hong Kong. – With Mayen Jaymalin – ABS-CBN News

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