A journalist for a local radio station has been denied entry to the Philippines to report on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit between regional leaders in Manila on Sunday.

The journalist was among nine local reporters who were blacklisted by the Philippines in November last year, after some of them confronted Philippines President Benigno Aquino III at an APEC summit in Bali, Indonesia in 2013, in connection with the 2010 Manila hostage crisis in which eight Hongkongers were killed and seven were injured.

Commercial Radio said in a report that the journalist had applied for a press pass for the 2013 APEC summit, but did not in fact go to Indonesia to report.

Commercial Radio reporters were denied entry due to questions to Aquino in 2013. Photo: Stand News.

“[We] believe that the denial of entry to the journalist is part of a follow-up to the blacklisting incident two years ago,” a spokesperson for  Commercial Radio said, “[We] feel extremely regretful and perplexed about this treatment by the Philippines government, [we] have sought assistance from the Hong Kong government.”

The Security Bureau told Commercial Radio that it was concerned about the incident.

The Immigration Department told the local station that the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit – which helps Hong Kong residents outside Hong Kong – has contacted the relevant person to understand the situation and provide assistance where feasible.

The Hong Kong government has also contacted the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in Hong Kong, as well as the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong and in China, in order to understand the incident better and to express its concerns.

Another blacklisted reporter from Commercial Radio was denied entry to the Philippines after travelling to the country at the end of last year.

Following that occurrence, the Philippines’ Consul General to Hong Kong told the Hong Kong government that Philippine immigration authorities had withdrawn the restrictions on entry for the nine journalists, the station reported.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.