A LAWMAKER expressed outrage after seeing several members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) taking souvenir photos at the Quirino Grandstand where the hostage crisis occurred.

“It is an affront not just to the victims and their families but to Hong Kong nationals who are now extremely angry over how the police handled the situation. It is adding insult to injury," said Gabriela Representative Luzviminda Ilagan.

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The pictures, with the bus at their background, are widely spreading on social networking sites. Groups of students were also captured in photo smiling while posing for the souvenir shot.

Ilagan noted that the failed rescue operation of Chinese nationals will result not just to the dismissal of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Hong Kong but to the further discrimination of Filipinos in the Chinese territory.

There has been a report from the Philippine Consulate General that a Hong Kong-based Filipina worker’s contract was canceled by an angry employer. However, it was still not clear whether the reason for terminating the contract was the Manila hostage crisis.

It was also reported that Hong Kong nationals took to the streets in expressing their anger at the deaths of its nationals at the 11-hour hostage drama.

“A backlash is inevitable. The Philippine government should prepare to have more local jobs ready if Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong find themselves being sent home by their employers,” said Ilagan.

Akbayan Representative Walden Bello, chairperson of the Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, meanwhile appealed to the people of Hong Kong to spare Filipino workers in their outrage.

“We are concerned that owing to the outrage over the outcome of the Quirino Grandstand hostage-taking, there might be reprisals taken against overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong,” Bello said.

“While we understand their anger over the bloody denouement of the hostage-taking crisis, we appeal to them not to blame their Filipina domestic helpers,” he added.

Bello expressed the willingness of Congress to extend any assistance to workers who may be ill-affected by the recent turn of events.

Meanwhile, the Palace has asked the public to respect the place where the unfortunate hostage-taking happened.

“We ask all the Filipinos to respect that particular area. Our request is for you not to trivialize the area,” said Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

"Let’s not try to belittle the incident. It’s a place of grief, let’s respect that,” the Palace official said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Jill Beltran/Sunnex)