Manila: Two Chinese travel writers involved in a mid-flight brawl with President Benigno Aquino’s brother-in-law have been ordered to leave the Philippines, an immigration official said Sunday.
The pair, part of a media tour to encourage tourism to the country, were on a flight to the central resort island of Cebu when they are alleged to have attempted to choke Eldon Cruz who had asked them to make be quieter.
The immigration commissioner said the two must fly out by Sunday night and had been blacklisted from returning to the Philippines, according to immigration spokeswoman Maria Antonette Mangrobang.
“They are departing tonight. It was an order to leave the country immediately and for their inclusion in the blacklist,” she added.
No criminal complaints have been filed against the pair, Mangrobang said, adding that they have been turned over to their embassy’s consul.
Foreign Department spokesman Raul Hernandez told reporters strong action was needed to deter troublesome visitors.
“We welcome anyone who visits our country (but) we don’t need tourists who are rude, violent and ill-mannered,” he said.
Chinese embassy spokesman Sun Yi downplayed the incident, saying it was a “misunderstanding” and that both sides had settled the matter.
“The issue has been addressed appropriately,” he said without elaborating.
The Philippines has been trying to repair its image with Chinese and Hong Kong travellers after a bus hijacking tragedy in Manila in August left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.