Manila Hostage Crisis: Latest Updates and Impact on RP-China Relations
August 27, 2010 § Leave a comment
Beijing has called for a quick probe into the highly controversial botched Manila Hostage-taking crisis, as tensions rise in the island state over the so-called ineptitude shown by the Philippine government in the handling of the hostage-taking.
A Hongkong legislator has demanded an official apology from the Philippine government. The appeal has been communicated to the Philippine consulate in the island state.
Meanwhile, the black listing of the Philippines continues. Flights to and from Hongkong to the Philippines have been cancelled. Tour operators said, flights to the Philippines are being cancelled so to speak, not just by Hongkongers but by other nationalities as well.
The Philippine tourism department expects a 20% decrease in inbound and outbound travel. The international impact of the crisis has affected the image of the Philppines as a tourist destination.
Hongkongers meanwhile, continue to express their outrage against Filipinos and the Aquino government. Philippine president Benigno Aquino III promised to bring to the bar of justice those responsible for the fiasco. However, after four days, no high ranking official has been given the boot. Only four SWAT members got the boot.
At the Senate inquiry over the hostage crisis yesterday, it was learned that Manila mayor Alfredo Lim gave the order for the arrest of the brother of the hostage taker. That order precipitated a string of events that led to the deaths of eight foreigners and the hostage taker himself. Many believe that it was Lim’s order that triggered the hostage taker to fire upon his victims.
Post-mortem investigation on the victims shows that most of the victims reportedly died from bullet wounds suffered when the hostage taker fired upon them. A delegation from Hongkong, however, remains unconvinced and has called for a parallel investigation. Certain quarters surmise that some hostages might have died when the SWAT team assaulted the bus.
And there are quarters who believe that the Aquino administration is now in a very difficult situation. One, the Hongkong government has demanded civil restitution from the Philippine government. Second, restitution is silently being disputed by the government, since there are no existing laws which demands such. Several legal eagles say, relatives of the victims should actually file damages against the government in both local and international courts.
This is the first serious crisis encountered by the nearly two month old government. Several quarters, including the very influential Catholic Church gave the new president Noynoy Aquino a failing grade in crisis management. A Filipino legislator, meanwhile in the person of Cong. Carlos Padilla said that there is now a leadership crisis in the Philippine government.