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  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 10:28am
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Manila vice-mayor sad over Hong Kong's treatment after hostage tragedy

Politician feels he deserves gratitude of Hong Kong for saving eight lives in bus crisis

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 November, 2013, 6:01am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 November, 2013, 6:01am

Manila Vice-Mayor Francisco Domagoso has expressed sadness over the way Hong Kong has treated him in the aftermath of the botched bus hostage rescue three years ago.

"Just between us, don't I deserve a 'thank you' by saving eight lives?" Domagoso asked the Sunday Morning Post.

He disclosed for the first time that he - and not Manila's mayor at the time, Alfredo Lim - was calling the shots during the day-long hostage-taking of a tourist bus by dismissed police officer Rolando Mendoza.

"From morning to 6pm [of August 23, 2010] I was the one handling the entire incident. During the daytime I was the highest civilian authority … not mayor Lim, at that time. When Mendoza asked for food and gas, I asked for hostages in return," Domagoso said.

"The Chinese embassy gave me a specific request - the old man, 80 years old. I got the old man. He was released.

"When you look at the timeline, I've been saving lives."

And yet, he said, Hong Kong sent him an "invitation" to appear and answer questions after the Incident Investigation Review Committee found him liable for simple negligence for abandoning his post "at the height of the hostage crisis".

A subsequent palace (government) review, however, tossed out the IIRC charge.

Domagoso said he did not abandon his post, but was relieved by Lim.

Asked what could have been done to avert the tragedy, in which eight hostages and Mendoza died, he replied: "Honestly, if the super friends did not take over at 6pm, you know, Batman, Superman - mayor Lim and the generals …"

Domagoso played a key role in Lim's electoral defeat this May by switching to be Joseph Estrada's running mate. Soon after becoming mayor of Manila, Estrada told the Post he would personally apologise to Hong Kong.

On Friday Estrada said his planned trip to Hong Kong to deliver a formal apology would be delayed. He declined to say when he would visit. But he said the postponement had nothing to do with the delay in negotiations with the victims and relatives.

He also denied that a Hong Kong casino investor was among those donating money for the victims' compensation. "No, the money will be all from the Philippines," he said.

He also said the hostage victims' demand to punish Lim for the botched rescue had been fulfilled by his election defeat.


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This article is now closed to comments

Is he on hallucinogens?
Nihao I am a new commentator. I do not know anything about HKG-PH relations but it seems that Domagoso is not taking this issue seriously. He wants a thank you for the 8 lives saved, as if there were no deaths? Really?
He is a joke. Even if he did save 8 people, this is call "doing your job". That is what public service is all about. What about the deaths and the two disabled?
Yeah right, like o'Henrich Himmler should have pleaded in the Nuremberg trial because the Nazis didn't send another 3 million Jews to the gas chamber? It's really shocking how details of him calling the shots was not even in the official inquiry report, and the buck-passing between him and the other 'supermen' 'before and after 6pm' was why 8 were killed! Jaws-dropping that he's still serving under Estrada.
Good luck all the have-nots in PH!
"Just between us, don't I deserve a 'thank you' by saving eight lives?" Domagoso asked the Sunday Morning Post."
Only us bush people Filipinos would accept a 50% success rate. Really brothers, is THIS guy the best guy we can put up for the job? How much $$ did he put in our pockets for us to vote him in? What a disgrace to the entire city of Manila. A thank you for 50% death rate....wow...only in the Philippines.
He and Erap should stop meddling in national issues like this. Period.


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