Families of Victims of Manila Bus Siege Demand for Apology

The Manila Bus Hostage incident that happened on August 23, 2010, where 8 Hong Kong nationals were awfully killed by the disgruntled former senior inspector, Rolando Mendoza is now creating a backlash to the Philippine National Government over its poor handling of the incident that cause the death of the hostages.

Surviving victims and its families have clamored for a public apology from the Philippines, as well as monetary compensation and for erring officials to be out of office to hold accountability over the hostage-taking incident.

Hong Kong demands for public apology from the Philippine government PHOTO: SCMP

In retrospect, former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada and now the incumbent Mayor of Manila already expressed his apology to the survivors; however two of the survivors dismissed the mayor’s statement.

Recently, Li Keqiang, the current Premier of the People’s Republic of China and party secretary of the State Council expressed his dismay over Aquino where public apology has not been rendered yet. He urged President Benigno Aquino to resolve the issue as soon as possible, taking the negotiation to a new diplomatic level.

Amidst pressure on Aquino, the families of the victims of the bus siege and other political analysts considered it as a “breakthrough” that would delegate pressure on the Philippines.

According to a report, Premier Li had a short dialogue with Aquino during the East Asia Summit held in Indonesia. Li stated that the incident had dragged on for long enough and had affected the feelings of the people in China, especially Hong Kong compatriots.

Yesterday, Department of Justice Secretary, Leila De Lima, told reporters that she was never instructed by President Aquino to make the official apology that the Hong Kong government has been seeking. According to reports, Aquino decided and agreed to send De Lima to Hong Kong to orient victims’ families on the judicial process and status of their cases.

However, the DOJ Secretary denied about the rumors of her trip to Hong Kong for the president has not discussed the issue with her.

Aquino insisted that he will not release any statement for an apology, saying the lone gunman was to blame.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party stated yesterday that the government should hang up all exchanges with, and put a restriction on products from the Philippines to boost the Hong Kong’s bargaining power ahead of an upcoming ministerial meeting. It ran after pan-democrats party would seek a law to ban Filipino domestic helpers from working in Hong Kong to put pressure on Aquino. Furthermore, the group wants the government to inflict economic sanctions on the Philippines to press for a resolution that could translate for a formal apology from the Philippines

Presently, there is a suggestion from the Liberal Party Chairwoman Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee that all Hong Kongers will write to Aquino, firmly demanding for an apology.

Follow me on Twitter: @rjamesbarrete

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One comment

  1. Paldo · October 24, 2013

    Hong Kong is comparatively a better off place and hefty compensation is not that important. Most injured victims underwent surgery paid by the government. The tourists should have been paid by the insurance. So if the PH government says, sorry mate, we wish to apologize but we cannot afford to compensate a big amount, fair enough.
    The root of anger of Hong Kong people was simple. Reel back at the scene 3 years ago. The whole incident was very badly handled. No professional negotiator around. The SWAT (dubbed as “Sorry We Aren’t Trained”) team was utmostly ill-equipped and acted very unprofessionally. It took them how many minutes to break into the bus? The kidnapper had already plenty of time to kill as many as he could.
    The president (Aquino III) and the mayor Lim were caught having dinner at the Chinese restaurant, instead of hands on with the situation, this upset most in Hong Kong.
    The PH attorney general already put the blame on the PH side but no action including apology for mishandling the case and a compensation had been carried out.
    Aquino’s denial of any responsibility further anger the HK people. Their demand is pretty simple, a genuine apology.
    PH has only two allies, the Japs and the US. Bet you the US are too busy with their fiscal cliff again in January and February next year and they have not much money to spare. Osbama cancelled the visit to the PH altogether. The Japs tried very hard to lure allies in the recent APEC and ASEAN summits with hardly any result. The Chinese tops guys had been visiting most of these countries lately.
    The mainland Chinese government may not like to flex the economic muscle as the last resort like what they did a few years ago. However, if they sneeze, PH will feel the cold.

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