Through Duterte, PH officially issues apology for death of 8 HK tourists
President Rodrigo Duterte for the first time apologized on Thursday to Hong Kong for the death of eight Hong Kong tourists during the 2010 Manila hostage crisis.
The President said there has been “no official apology coming from the Philippines regarding that incident that happened in August 2010.”
“To the Chinese people who are here, from the bottom of my heart, as President of Republic of the Philippines, may I apologize formally to you now. We are sorry the incident happened, as humanly possible, I would like to guarantee this will never happen again. This will go a long way to really assuage the feelings of the Chinese people,” he said in a speech before the Filipino Community there.
“So it’s only right. Lives were lost under our jurisdiction. What’s really needed is just to say we’re very sorry,” he said.
Eight tourists from Hong Kong died after dismissed policeman Rolando Mendoza took a tour bus hostage in Manila to get attention for his plight. Mendoza had been seeking reinstatement after he was dismissed due to corruption allegations.
During the hostage situation, police officers assaulted the bus by breaking the door and windows with sledgehammers.
Mendoza then opened fire on the hostages before being killed by responding policemen.
No apology from Aquino
The tragic hostage drama happened during the term of President Benigno Aquino III.
But Aquino declined to issue an apology, citing Filipino fatalities in China for which Beijing has not apologized and paid compensation.
But in 2014, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada travelled to Hong Kong to apologize to the relatives of the victims.
Hong Kong has since accepted the apology of the Philippines from Estrada through a joint statement.
“The HK Government and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines have agreed that the four demands made by the victims and their families on apology, compensation, sanctions against responsible officials and individuals, and tourist safety measures will be resolved and settled,” the joint statement read.
“The Philippine Government expresses its most sorrowful regret and profound sympathy, and extends its most sincere condolences for the pain and suffering of the victims and their families. The Police Director General of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines has written to all victims or their families,” it added. With a report from Leila B. Salaverria
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