News / Asia

(Duplicate) As Hong Kong Mourns, the Philippines Look Inward

As the bodies of the eight Hong Kong tourists killed in Monday's hostage shootout in Manila return home, Filipino officials try to determine how it happened.

It was reminiscent of a reception for war dead.  Survivors and family members gathered at Hong Kong's International Airport as eight coffins were unloaded onto the tarmac.  Hong Kong's Chief Secretary, Henry Tang, promised continued support. "Hong Kong people will always stand by their side and government will spare no effort to providing whatever assistance they require," he said.

An investigation is already underway in the Philippines into the incident, where a disgruntled former police officer opened fire inside a tourist bus he had commandeered. It is still unclear if the eight victims who were killed were shot by the hostage taker or by gunfire from police storming the bus. Secretary Tang, who had voiced harsh criticism of the way Filipino officials had handled the case, agreed the investigation was of utmost importance.

"But, I still believe that a full, comprehensive, thorough and impartial report is the best condolences and the best closure for this whole tragic incident," he said.

While sorrow and anger continued in Hong Kong, the Philippines observed a day of public mourning Wednesday. Questions about how the incident was handled are being expressed there as well.   "Filipino migrant workers here share the Hong Kong people's shock and dismay at the way the crisis situation was handled," said Delores Peleaz, a member of the Filipino Migrant Workers Union.

President Benigno Aquino shifted into damage control mode. "We understand that there is that sense of outrage, and the anger that emanates from that sense of outrage.  We ask for their understanding.  We are correcting deficiencies that we have noted in the implementation of our operating procedures.  None of us wanted this outcome.  And, we'd like to emphasize the fact that primary consideration was on trying to secure all of the hostages," he said.

In the wake of the shootout, several senior Philippine police officials have been placed on leave.  The weapons used by police have been secured as part of the investigation.

However, Filipino Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who had already acknowledged police were ill-prepared for the hostage incident, urged caution against jumping to conclusions. "You know, until we get a full report and complete the investigation, I guess it's not fair to say whose head will roll. We need to establish accountabilities and responsibilities," he said.

The hostage situation is expected to take a toll on the Philippines tourist industry taking with it hopes that had been expressed that it could become a growth factor in the country's economy generating many badly needed jobs.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid