Apology to HK no longer an option

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Thursday, February 6, 2014


ASIDE from its being popular among Filipinos, as reflected in surveys, why has President Aquino insisted on refusing to apologize to Hong Kong for the death of eight HK tourists in Manila?

An argument for a no-apology stance: it was not an offense of the entire country that PNoy represents.

Last Aug. 23, 2010, a police officer protested his dismissal from service by hijacking a busload of HK visitors and killing eight of them.

It was the act of one disgruntled ex-cop, not an assault by the nation on foreigners, not the result of government policy. Or so the argument runs.

Why should PNoy say sorry for the tragedy, which could happen to people who travel abroad anywhere?

But HK may be fueled by another source of outrage. Rescue work was botched by police and civilian officials, including two ground leaders: the Manila mayor and PNoy's firing-range buddy who called the shots at DILG.

Ineptness must be what rankles in HK -- plus what must still piss them off almost four years after: images of PNoy smiling (stupidly, his critics say) in front of the bullet-riddled bus.

For that, an apology may be seemly.

But which kind: (a) an acknowledgment of fault with a plea for pardon, (b) an expression of regret, (c) or both?

Not a fiat

HK doesn't specify but it must be demanding a total "mea culpa" since the Philippines in many ways had already showed its regret. After all, shooting down tourists hasn't been a government fiat like an HK edict on foreign labor.

With the bullying by HK leaders though, the formal apology may have long been junked as a Malacañang option.

(paseares@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 06, 2014.

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