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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid