Philippines lifts immigration ban on nine Hong Kong journalists

The Philippines on Tuesday lifted the immigration ban on nine Hong Kong journalists who heckled President Benigno Aquino during a meeting of the APEC group in Bali, Indonesia last year. 

The lifting of the ban comes ahead of an APEC meeting in Manila next year. The Philippines has yet to start media accreditation for the event. 

The National Intelligence Coordinating Agency recommended the ban last June, saying the journalists were disrespectful of the president and that they were a "public safety threat". The journalists were not informed about the ban. 

On Monday, the agency sent a letter to the immigration bureau withdrawing its assessment on the journalists as there was no untoward incident in this year`s APEC meeting in Beijing, said Elaine Tan, a spokeswoman for the agency. 

The journalists had questioned Aquino about whether he had met with Hong Kong leaders over the death of eight visitors from the former British colony in a 2010 bus siege in Manila.

A sacked police officer had seized a coach transporting the tourists. They were later killed when the former police officer opened fire amid a rescue attempt.

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