Despite apology, Tsao is still in blacklist – BI

By Maricar Bautista and RG Cruz – Despite offers of apology on a controversial article which was deemed racist by many Filipinos, the ban on Hong Kong writer Chip Tsao from entering the Philippines remains, the Philippines’ top immigration official said.

Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan said Tsao himself would have to apply to Philippine authorities to have the ban lifted.

“Tsao can request from the [Philippine] Consulate sa Hong Kong who will then communicate to DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs),” said Libanan in an interview Wednesday.

Libanan said the DFA would inform the Bureau of Immigration if the Tsao has been removed from the blacklist.

The immigration commissioner earlier said Tsao will only be removed from the immigration blacklist if he issues a public apology for the derogatory article he wrote about Filipinos.

Libanan issued on Monday night the order placing Tsao in the immigration blacklist for being an undesirable alien.

“This is our manifestation of disgust against the racial slur and insult committed by Mr. Tsao against us as a people,” Libanan said in a statement after announcing the issuance of the blacklist order.

Libanan also chided Tsao for his “arrogance and disrespect to the country and the Filipino people.”

Malacañang meanwhile is taking a wait and see stance on the apology of Tsao

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said they are still considering his apology and whether or not they should accept it.

“Different interpretations”

The DFA on Wednesday confirmed that Hong Kong writer Chip Tsao has issued an apology on television in China’s Special Administrative Region.

In a text message to abs-cbnNEWS.com, the DFA said it received the information about Tsao’s apology from the report by the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong.

“The following is excerpt of Mr. Chip Tsao’s interview aired 7 p.m. last night at ATV, a major local TV channel: ‘I realized that I had crossed the line…I now offer my public apology’”,” the DFA stated in the text message.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported Monday that Tsao allegedly never meant to insult Filipino domestic workers.

“The article was never intended to be insulting to the Filipino domestic workers,” Tsao told AFP.

He added in the report that “English, being a global language, is open to different interpretations by those who come from various cultural backgrounds”.

“Has anyone been deeply upset, it was never my intention and I feel sorry,” Tsao was quoted in the report.

On Monday, Tsao’s publisher and editors had issued an apology for their writer’s column. In their letter, the Asia City Publishing Group in Hong Kong apologized “unreservedly for any offense that may have been caused by Chip Tsao’s column dated March 27″.

HK Magazine explained that they have long been championing the rights of Filipinos working in Hong Kong.

“We note that Filipinos have often been unfairly treated in Hong Kong, and that they make an important contribution to this community,” said HK Magazine.

HK Magazine added that Tsao’s column entitled “The War At Home” was satirical.

Tsao earned widespread disapproval among Filipinos for his column “War At Home” published online by the HK Magazine on March 27.

In his column, Tsao called the Philippines a “nation of servants” unworthy to lay claim on the disputed Spratlys Island.

Tsao also made derogatory remarks against Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong.

He said he summoned his Filipino domestic assistant named Louisa and gave her a harsh lecture that Spratlys Island belongs to China. He even threatened to send her home if war breaks out between the Philippines and China.

The Spratlys Island is being disputed by China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Concerned about the safety of Tsao’s maid, the Philippine Consulate set out to locate her. They discovered that Tsao had no Filipino domestic worker under his employ. Louisa was actually working for Tsao’s father for 14 years now.

Continuing protest

Meanwhile, the group United Filipinos in Hong Kong is preparing to mobilize the Filipino community there on Sunday, April 5th for a protest against the article and writer.

On Monday, Tsao’s publisher and editors issued an apology for their writer’s column. In their letter, the Asia City Publishing Group in Hong Kong apologized “unreservedly for any offense that may have been caused by Chip Tsao’s column dated March 27″.

HK Magazine explained that they have long been championing the rights of Filipinos working in Hong Kong.

“We note that Filipinos have often been unfairly treated in Hong Kong, and that they make an important contribution to this community,” said HK Magazine.

HK Magazine added that Tsao’s column entitled “The War At Home” was satirical.

Full text of ‘The War at Home’ by Chip Tsao
The Russians sank a Hong Kong freighter last month, killing the seven Chinese seamen onboard. We can live with that-—Lenin and Stalin were once the ideological mentors of all Chinese people. The Japanese planted a flag on Diàoyú Island. That’s no big problem-—we Hong Kong Chinese love Japanese cartoons, Hello Kitty, and shopping in Shinjuku, let alone our round-the-clock obsession with karaoke.

But hold on-—even the Filipinos? Manila has just claimed sovereignty over the scattered rocks in the South China Sea called the Spratly Islands, complete with a blatant threat from its congress to send gunboats to the South China Sea to defend the islands from China if necessary. This is beyond reproach. The reason: There are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as HK$3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. As a nation of servants, you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.

As a patriotic Chinese man, the news has made my blood boil. I summoned Louisa, my domestic assistant who holds a degree in international politics from the University of Manila, hung a map on the wall, and gave her a harsh lecture. I sternly warned her that if she wants her wages increased next year, she had better tell everyone of her compatriots in Statue Square on Sunday that the entirety of the Spratly Islands belongs to China.

Grimly, I told her that if war breaks out between the Philippines and China, I would have to end her employment and send her straight home, because I would not risk the crime of treason for sponsoring an enemy of the state by paying her to wash my toilet and clean my windows 16 hours a day. With that money, she would pay taxes to her Government, and they would fund a navy to invade our motherland and deeply hurt my feelings.

Oh yes. The Government of the Philippines would certainly be wrong if they think we Chinese are prepared to swallow their insult and sit back and lose a Falkland Islands War in the Far East. They may have Barack Obama and the hawkish American military behind them, but we have a hostage in each of our homes in the Mid-Levels or higher. Some of my friends told me they have already declared a state of emergency at home. Their maids have been made to shout ‘China, Madam/Sir’ loudly whenever they hear the word “Spratly”. They say the indoctrination is working as wonderfully as when we used to shout, “Long live Chairman Mao!” at the sight of a portrait of our Great Leader during the Cultural Revolution. I’m not sure if that’s going a bit too far, at least for the time being.

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