World Bulletin/News Desk
The Philippines government has taken the names of nine Hong Kong journalists off a blacklist that barred them from entering the country, it announced Tuesday.
The Bureau of Immigration lifted the ban on the recommendation of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, immigration bureau spokeswoman Elaine Tan said.
The ban had been criticized by the Hong Kong government and the media.
The radio and television journalists were barred from entering the Philippines as a threat to public safety. The order was imposed following questions they asked President Benigno Aquino III about a 2010 bus siege in Manila in which eight Hong Kong visitors died. It came to light last week when one of the journalists was denied entry.
The manner of the questioning had supposedly annoyed Aquino, and Philippine officials said the reporters had “crossed the line.” Tan previously said that showing “disrespect or making offensive utterances to symbols of Philippine authority” was a sufficient basis to ban an individual.
In a statement Tuesday, Tan said: "Upon evaluation of the NICA letter dated Nov. 21 2014 and received by the BI [Bureau of Immigration] on Monday, the BI has deemed it proper to lift the blacklist order against the foreign nationals."
The intelligence agency justified lifting the order as no similar incidents had happened during the president's visit to Beijing for the 26th APEC Summit earlier this month.
The Hong Kong journalists may now enter the Philippines as tourists although it was not clear whether they would be able to work as journalists at next year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in the Philippines.
Last Mod: 25 Kasım 2014, 11:47