Report on hostage crisis done

MANILA -- The fact-finding committee tasked to look into the Manila hostage crisis has completed its official report Friday, a television report said.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, head of inter-agency panel, said the final report included the names of 12 personalities they recommend to undergo criminal and administrative disciplinary proceedings for the bungled handling of the crisis.

De Lima, however, refused to disclose details so as not to preempt President Benigno Aquino III, who will have the first view of the more than 80-page report.

The report will be submitted to the President at 4:15 p.m. Friday.

De Lima said the recommendations about the proposed charges are "based on the evaluation of the actions, the non-action, the missteps, the lapses, the negligence, the incompetence" of the people involved.

Eight visiting Chinese nationals from Hong Kong were killed when officials bungled the negotiation with Rolando Mendoza, a dismissed Manila policeman, who hijacked a busload of tourists near Manila's historic park.

On Thursday, the De Lima said a public official outside the Philippine National Police and some media people will face charges for "unwittingly" telegraphing the government's move against the hostage-taker at the height of the 12-hour crisis.

De Lima also said the testimonies of the five victims, two released hostages and three survivors, corroborated with the accounts of bus driver Alberto Lubang that the hostage-taker killed the hostages by shooting them at close range using his M-16 file.

Aquino, for his part, had promised to send a delegation led by Vice President Jejomar Binay to deliver the final investigation report to officials in Beijing and Hong Kong. (Sunnex)


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