• Sun
  • Apr 20, 2014
  • Updated: 1:33am
NewsHong Kong

CY Leung denies Hong Kong and Philippines have put bus tragedy behind them

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 2:01pm
UPDATED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 11:10pm
 

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11 Oct 2013
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Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Friday refuted a Philippine government statement that Hong Kong and the Philippines had put the bus tragedy row behind them, saying his words at a meeting he had with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Monday in Bali had been “taken out of context”.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Leung said he had suggested to Aquino at the meeting that issues surrounding the hostage tragedy – in which eight Hong Kong people were killed – could be put behind them only if both sides held talks and took steps to resolve them.

It was not like my meeting with him was to talk about how to put the issue behind us. This is absolutely not the case

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying

"It was not like my meeting with him was to talk about how to put the issue behind us. This is absolutely not the case,” he said.

Leung said that at the meeting Aquino had agreed to his proposal that both sides would send a senior official to discuss unresolved matters related to the hostage tragedy.

Before the press conference on Friday Leung met with a survivor of the tragedy, Yik Siu-ling, whose lower jaw was shattered by a bullet, and representatives of the families of victims of the tragedy who had demanded clarification on the statements made by the Philippines about Leung's meeting with Aquino.

At the meeting Leung denied that he and Aquino had agreed to put the issues of the tragedy behind them. After the meeting, those who met with Leung said they were satisfied with his explanation.

[China is] too late. The Hong Kong chief executive and the President had already met in Bali 
Edwin Lacierda, Aquino’s spokesman

Leung statement's on Friday came after Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda said on Thursday China's recent request for the Philippines to resolve the row over the Manila bus hostage tragedy “came too late” as Leung had “agreed to put the issue behind them”.

The strong stance from Aquino’s office, reported on Thursday morning, was a response to the Chinese foreign ministry’s statement on Tuesday that the Philippines should take “substantial action” to address problems with Hong Kong related to the hostage tragedy.

The Foreign Ministry statement also came hours before the China News Service revealed that in a brief conversation during the East Asia Summit on Wednesday China's Premier Li Keqiang had urged the Philippines to resolve the row as soon as possible because it had dragged on for a long time and affected the feelings of the people of China and Hong Kong. He said he hoped the Philippine government would resolve the incident “reasonably and fairly”.

Lacierda, was quoted in the Philippine newspaper Manila Standard Today on Thursday as saying that when China made the appeal, Aquino and Leung had already met and both had agreed to put the issue behind them.

“[China is] too late. The Hong Kong chief executive and the President had already met in Bali [Indonesia],” said Lacierda, referring to the meeting between Aquino and Leung during the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) leaders’ meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

In contrast to Leung’s earlier revelation that Manila agreed on holding ministerial-level meetings with Hong Kong, MST on Wednesday reported Leung as saying that “a dialogue with the survivors and the families [of the victims] could be at the level of the Philippine consul-general in Hong Kong”, with Aquino only afterwards suggesting that his administration might "perhaps go further than that” and send someone at ministerial level, such as Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to lead it.

The seven Hong Kong tourists and their tour guide were shot dead after being taken hostage by a sacked policeman onboard their coach in August 2010. The gunman was killed when a police assault team broke into the bus to end the hostage drama.

Families of the victims and survivors of the tragedy have been demanding that Manila apologise and compensate them for the Philippine authorities’ bungled rescue effort. They earlier sought to sue the Philippine government in a Hong Kong court but the court dismissed their case.

 

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q.fiver
It is established that some Filipino officers are at fault in the hostage taking incident. If you are at fault, you have to take responsibility. It is that simple. Getting better training, and all that are for preventing future incident.
zafiro.bourdeaux
Overall, I just feel like people are ignoring the real problems and asking for an apology because of the emotional nature of this situation.
The real issue, and I will admit that Aquino should do more on this, is what exactly is the Philippine government doing to properly train their SWAT and police force. There is nothing to really apologize for but there are definitely problems on the readiness of the police force.
If anyone needs to apologize, its the person who actually terrorized the tourists in the bus. Unfortunately, that person is dead.
All these calls for an apology and making racist comments are doing nothing to make sure this does not happen in the future.
q.fiver
“If anyone needs to apologize, its the person who actually terrorized the tourists in the bus. Unfortunately, that person is dead.” You speak in the same way as Aquino, putting all the blame on the dead policeman. That is so convenient.
Can you answer whose responsibility for not having a trained SWAT team?
Who is responsible for not getting the incident under control?
q.fiver
The real issue is: The Filipino Justice Minister has presented a report. It identified several responsible officers to be charged. But the report was ignored by Aquino. Hong Kong people is asking for justice, not just an apology. Do you research before making your comment next time.
zafiro.bourdeaux
You do agree that making racist comments and taking it out on Filipinos is useless though?
Why were they identified? They were identified because of negligence and poor handling of the incident. The problem is that the police force (including commanding officers) are poorly trained to handle these circumstances.
Again, I did not say the Philippine government is handling this correctly. They need to show that they are taking action over this matter to win back the confidence of Hong Kong. One action is to train their police force properly.
q.fiver
So you agree that some Filipino officers are at fault because of negligence of duty. Why are they not dealt with in line with the Justice system?
zafiro.bourdeaux
I do agree that there are Filipinos at fault. Your next question should be, "Why were these Filipinos negligent?"
That reason is because they are poorly trained. How do you charge someone for not being properly trained to begin with?
Stop playing this "Let's blame someone and punish them" charade.The focus should be avoiding this situation in the future. Get these officers properly trained.
cheeseball
The Philippine government should apologize for their untrained SWAT and police force to the victims and the tourists who have been to Philippine as they did put all the tourists at risk. It is none of our business about their further actions as I don't think we should visit such an unsafe country in the future.
q.fiver
Why are they not charged? Probably they are friends of Aquino.
zafiro.bourdeaux
Everybody saw what happened with the hostage crisis on video. The only person who should be charged is dead (i.e. the shooter).
By the way, that list that you are talking about also included the Mayor. What exactly are you hoping the mayor to be charged with?

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