Estrada to apologize for Manila hostage crisis-A A +A
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
MANILA Mayor Joseph Estrada will travel to Hong Kong on November 10 to personally deliver the city's formal apology to the family of the victims of the 2010 bus hostage crisis near Luneta Park that killed nine people.
Estrada said Manila Councilor Bernie Ang had already left the country to arrange the local chief executive's visit to the Chinese territory.
"The sentiment of the City Government of Manila in their sincerest effort to apologize to the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the family of the victims of the Rizal Park hostage-taking incident that occurred on August 23, 2010 within the territorial jurisdiction of the city of Manila," said the resolution recently passed by the City Council of Manila.
The resolution explained that even though the incident happened before Estrada's term, he as a former president of the country fully appreciates the importance of maintaining good relations with neighbors.
"Whereas, as former head of State, Mayor Estrada understands the importance of tourism in the nation's economy; hence, he gives priority to the development of the two-square kilometer area of Manila Chinatown in Binondo, Manila--the center of trade and commerce in the city," the resolution stated.
The resolution also aims to restore the strained relationship between the former British Colony and the country's capital.
Eight Hong Kong tourists were killed and several others were wounded after dismissed police officer Rolando Mendoza, formerly assigned at the Manila Police District (MPD), took 25 hostages inside a Hong Thai Travel Bus, as he demanded for his reinstatement.
The Hong Kong government has been consistently asking President Benigno Aquino III to issue a formal apology before the people of Hong Kong over the tragic incident.
Last October 7, Hong Kong journalists from Now TV, Radio Television Hong Kong and Commercial Radio "heckled" Aquino during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali and asked if he would meet Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying and apologize to the families of victims killed three years ago while vacationing in Manila. The journalists were later barred from the said event. b<>(Sunnex)