News / Asia

Hong Kong Group Presses Philippines for Apology Over Hostage Killings

A priest consoles Amy Leung during a Hong Kong memorial service of her 58-year-old husband Ken, 21-year-old daughter Doris and 14-year-old daughter Jessie, who were kiled during a bus hijacking in the Philippines on Aug. 23, 2010.
A priest consoles Amy Leung during a Hong Kong memorial service of her 58-year-old husband Ken, 21-year-old daughter Doris and 14-year-old daughter Jessie, who were kiled during a bus hijacking in the Philippines on Aug. 23, 2010.
Simone Orendain

Philippine government officials have met with representatives of victims and a survivor of last year's botched hostage rescue in Manila that left nine people dead.

Representatives of the eight Hong Kong tourists who died say their meeting was "useful." But they expressed disappointment their demands were not met.  

During the hour-long meeting at the Department of Justice in Manila, Secretary Leila de Lima heard from six Chinese nationals who wanted four things from the Philippine government: criminal charges against certain officials who oversaw the hostage crisis, an official apology from the president, compensation for the victims and better protections for tourists traveling to the country.

Immediately after the meeting, de Lima said she would bring all of their points to President Benigno Aquino. She also reiterated that under Philippine law anyone can make a demand for compensation from the government.

“We recognize there were lapses, there were inadequacies in the handling of that unfortunate incident," she said. "That is why the Philippine government has been exerting serious efforts to address all these gaps, all these deficiencies in the competence of the concerned agencies.  We need closure to this particular matter and we ask for understanding.”

On August 23 last year, a fired senior police officer hijacked a tour bus filled with tourists from Hong Kong and demanded his old job back, a drama that played out live over international news channels.  The 11-hour siege ended with eight tourists and the hostage-taker dead after a mishandled rescue attempt by police.

De Lima’s office investigated the incident and found there was a lack of clear direction to officials during the siege.  In the report, de Lima recommended criminal and or administrative charges against 10 people.  

But just five officials, including Manila’s mayor and police officers, face administrative charges. One person was fired over how he handled the gunman’s request to be reinstated.

Lee Ying Chuen was on the tour bus. She says returning to the Philippines nearly a year later has been hard, but she says she had to do it to “for justice.”  Lee says the group had wanted to meet with President Aquino.

“We were disappointed when we requested one meeting with him when we were in Manila.  That he also refused to meet with us, refused to have a dialogue with us, refused to listen to our demands," Lee said. "So we have been disappointed many times before, in our experience.  And I do hope we will not be disappointed again.”

The president’s press secretary says President Aquino repeatedly expressed regret over the incident, but the group says that is not the same as an apology.

Hong Kong legislator James To acted as spokesman for the group that met with Justice Secretary de Lima.

“Of course we cannot say we are satisfied with the result," he said. "But at least we know more about the procedure and we will liaise closely more with her office.”

To says the group hopes to put pressure on the president through de Lima, who said she would meet with Mr. Aquino right after the meeting with the Chinese nationals.

In recent weeks, the government has staffed tourist destinations in metro Manila with extra police. Hong Kong’s travel ban to the Philippines since the day of the hostage crisis remains in place.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid