THE Chinese government in Beijing remained silent on the request of the Philippine government to send a high-level delegation to give light on the bloody hostage incident in Manila Monday.
This prompted the Philippine government to cancel the delegation's trip to China Thursday.
“The Philippine is awaiting confirmation from the Chinese side on the arrangement that will ensure that the mission of the planned visit is achieved,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda quoted a transmittal from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The members of the country's delegation included Vice President Jejomar Binay, Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
The group was supposed to fly to Beijing, China at 7 a.m. Thursday but the Chinese government did not give any reply of the Philippines’ request.
The Philippine government decided to come up with a group to be sent to China and Hong Kong to make a thorough explanation about what transpired in the 11-hour hostage drama that killed eight tourists, mostly Hong Kong nationals.
The group will supposedly furnish report to China President Hu Jintao. They will then proceed to Hong Kong to give a detailed report to Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang.
Manila has informed Beijing of the planned visit of its high-profile delegation since Tuesday but the Chinese government reportedly wanted the Aquino administration to finish its probe on the incident first before it will open its door for a talk.
Aquino assures justice
For his part, President Benigno Aquino III assured that someone will be held accountable for the incident.
The President admitted that he is still in great despair over what happened during the 12-hour hostage crisis staged by dismissed Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza.
He assured that heads will roll depending on the result of the investigation to be conducted by the Department of Justice and National Bureau of Investigation.
“Talaga po na hindi na dapat na maulit ang nangyari doon. May mga nagkulang, may mga magbabayad,” he stressed.
Arroyo sends condolences
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sent her condolences to the Hong Kong government for the deaths of its citizens.
Arroyo's spokesperson Elena Bautisa-Horn said the former President expressed sympathy through Tsang and China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.
"As a Filipino who has enjoyed the hospitality and warmth of Hong Kong, she condoles with the family and loved ones of the victims and that, with much disappointment, this tragedy happened in the Philippines," Horn added.
In a letter dated August 26, Arroyo called the hostage-taking a "senseless and reprehensible act of brutality" and said that she will also be awaiting the outcome of the investigation as promised by the government.
"Whoever may be held accountable for the violent incident should be penalized. This is the only way we could truly honor the memory of the victims and give justice to the families in their hour of bereavement," Arroyo told Tsang in her letter.
The former President also hoped that the goodwill between the Filipinos and the people of Hong Kong will remain undiminished.(Jill Beltran/Kathrina Alvarez/JP/Sunnex)