PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III, in his Facebook account Wednesday, personally asked for a "ceasefire" on the hotly-debated hostage drama Monday that left nine people killed.
Aquino appealed for both Filipinos and Hong Kong nationals to stop exchanging bad words, saying that this will not solve anything.
He told Filipinos to observe respect on the feelings of the Chinese people especially those from Hong Kong since they were the ones who were harmed during the crisis.
“Marami na po tayong nabasa at narinig na mga daing at saloobin ng ating mga kababayan, pati ng mga dayuhan na apektado. Pakiusap po na iwasan na lamang ang pakikipagtalo kung hindi naman kinakailangan," the Chief Executive said on his Facebook account.
"Ipakita po natin na tayong mga Pilipino ay marunong rumespeto at umunawa,” he added.
Several Hong Kong nationals were enraged over the Aquino government, stressing its incompetence and negligence in handling the standoff.
“We understand the outrage they are expressing at the current time. This has a very big impact on everybody. We asked for their understanding,” Aquino said in a press briefing in Malacanang Wednesday.
Apology for the smile
One angry member of the President’s Facebook lambasted Aquino for apparently "smiling" during the press briefing conducted hours after the hostage-crisis.
Eric Tsang posted: “We are angry because you are laughing on the scene and on the press conference. Tender your resignation NOW! We, the Hong Kong people were so annoyed and agitated by your terrible smiley face televised worldwide. Your incompetence of leading your untrained stupid police force caused such a tragedy.”
“My smile might have been misunderstood. I have several expressions. I smile when I’m happy; I smile when I’m faced with that very absurd situation. I have to keep my emotions in check,” the President said.
“Obviously, there was no joy in attending to that situation, more on the absurdity of the matter. When we had that assault team using sledgehammers, having difficulty breaching the bus, parang I was really touched by the absurdity of the situation,” he related.
Despite floods of hate messages, Malacanang’s mood was lightened up by the remarks of famous Hong Kong actor, Jackie Chan.
In his Twitter, Chan extended a hand of friendship regardless of what had happened.
“HK is a nation built by a lot of different people. Don't worry! We do not hate,” Chan said.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, who also has a Chinese blood, thanked Chan for the message.
“We would like to thank Mr. Jackie for extending his hand of friendship,” Lacierda said as he translated what he had said.
He hoped that other citizens in Hong Kong would have the same perspective like Chan and stop retaliating to innocent Filipinos abroad.
“We hope that Hong Kong, our friends in Hong Kong will also extend their hand of friendship to us,” the Palace official said.
President Aquino also said that Hong Kong authorities assured that the 20,000 strong Filipinos in the Chinese territory will be taken cared of.
He noted that the government has been correcting deficiencies on the operating procedures of the authorities which most foreigners and even Filipinos are criticizing.
Based on his conversation with Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang, Aquino said that the administration has pledged for all the assistance the victims would need from hospitalization and funeral services.
“We explain to him the course and chronology of the events and that we express our sorrow and our grief on the outcome of it. There were several requests that we have attended to prior to the request being made and we begged for their understanding on the outcome of the situation,” the President said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)