MANILA (dpa) – Nine Hong Kong journalists were barred from entering the Philippines after being accused of heckling President Benigno Aquino during a visit in Indonesia last year, the Bureau of Immigration said Saturday.
The nine journalists were included in the agency’s “blacklist” for showing “disrespect or (making) offensive utterances to symbols of Philippine authority,” bureau spokeswoman Elaine Tan said.
Tan said the action was taken in June after the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency reported the incident in Bali, where the reporters shouted questions at Aquino on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
The questions concerned the 2010 hostage taking of a bus of Hong Kong tourists in Manila.
A botched rescue attempt by Philippine security left eight of the tourists dead and led to strained ties between Hong Kong and the Philippines.
Hong Kong media said the journalists included on the Philippine immigration blacklist were from Now TV, RTHK and Commercial Radio. Tan said the journalists may appeal their inclusion.