By Raïssa Robles
The resolution of the 2010 bus hostage crisis finally came this afternoon and was announced by no less than Hong Kong Chief Executive Chief Executive CY Leung.
The breakthrough came when Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima brought over letters signed by him for each of the victims’ families. It was after all the police that had tragically botched up the hostage rescue effort on August 23, 2010 which resulted in the death of seven Hong Kong tourists and their HK tourist guide. And no less than President Aquino’s right hand man, Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras, accompanied the delegation.
To HK authorities and the victims and their families, the presence of the two national government officials gave the meeting a presidential stamp of approval. Even if Aquino made no formal apology.
And of course we mustn’t forget Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada who persevered and would not take “no” for an answer despite insults hurled at him for inserting himself into the controversy. As well as Manila Councilor Bernardito Ang who tirelessly acted as a go-between for Manila and Hong Kong. But why was Councilor Ang in a wheelchair when he left Hong Kong airport?
It’s a very interesting and touching display of a bipartisan effort. And of course it is a vindication of Estrada, too.
The very happy staff of Estrada tweeted the South China Morning Post (HK) story on the breakthrough entitled – Hong Kong and Philippines finally resolve bus hostage crisis as sanctions are lifted
In the last few days, I have been totally engrossed running around gathering bits and pieces of what was about to happen in Hong Kong. I was surprised, to say the least, when I first heard that Director General Purisima might make some kind of apology. It’s pretty big of him to do that.
Part of my job was checking and counter-checking the whereabouts of Purisima and Almendras. To make matters harder, Almendras even told GMA News yesterday that he had not gone to HK. That was true. He had not gone ON THE SAME FLIGHT AS ESTRADA TO HONGKONG. He left for HK this morning :)
Almendras wanted to avoid the press at all costs, I guess. And he managed to do so.
UPDATE as of 6:15 PM, April 23, 2014:
SCMP has updated the story to – Hong Kong and Philippines resolve bus hostage crisis as families accept “confidential” compensation payout.
The latest story states that while the visa sanctions and black travel alert have been dropped, the travel alert has “reverted to amber.”
Tse Chi-kin, brother of slain Hong Kong tour guide Masa Tse Ting-chunn told SCMP he was accepting the resolution and compensation, saying –
“I can’t say whether I’m happy with the result or the wordings [of the statement] but I’m glad this has all come to an end. Will we insist on getting the right words [for an apology]? We understand that in circles of diplomacy there are lots of discrepancies.”
UPDATE as of 8:45 PM, April 23, 2014:
HK Chief Leung said during a press conference later in the afternoon:
“With the final resolution of the incident I sincerely hope that the deceased will rest in peace and the injured and families can move on with courage and strength.
“I also believe the bilateral relations between the peoples of Hong Kong and Philippines will start a new chapter.
Here below is the full joint statement issued by both the Philippine delegation and HK authorities:
Pursuant to the agreement of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), C Y Leung, and Philippine President Benigno S Aquino III to work towards a mutually satisfactory conclusion to the Quirino Grandstand Incident which took place on 23 August 2010, the HKSAR Government and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines have agreed that the four demands made by the victims and their families on apology, compensation, sanctions against responsible officials and individuals, and tourist safety measures will be resolved and settled as follows.
The Philippine Government expresses its most sorrowful regret and profound sympathy, and extends its most sincere condolences for the pain and suffering of the victims and their families. The Police Director General of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines has written to all victims or their families.
In the spirit of solidarity and in acknowledgment of the loss of the victims and their families, an additional token of solidarity will be given to the victims or their families as a most sincere gesture of compassion of the people of the Philippines.
The Philippine Government has assured the HKSAR Government that measures are being undertaken to hold to account those responsible and to see the outstanding proceedings conclude as soon as possible. Details on the administrative and criminal proceedings pursued are set out in Annex A. The Philippine Government undertakes to keep the HKSAR Government informed of progress made in resolving the outstanding proceedings.
The Philippine Government has assured the HKSAR Government that it is committed to ensuring that such an incident will not occur again. Details on the measures implemented to guarantee the welfare and safety of those visiting the Philippines are set out in Annex B.
Martial Bonifacio says
@Raissa if you don’t mind confirming this report.
Security Bureau shoots itself in the other foot over Philippines
I also thought initially that the travel alert downgrade was part of the deal between HK-PH but now i’m kinda confused about it.
…many or more lawmakers are now in ‘Hostage Crisis!’…due to NapoLIST in her affidaLIST!
…De LimaLIST does not yet want to deLIST!
…FrankiLIST and CayeLIST in deLIST? [well known pianist Franz Litz…or Litz Taylor well know actress]
…well, this is all CRISIS and deniaLIST/dinaya-list will be numerous again…
…more SIGNAlists are forgiLIST! In ‘Pinas, Sari-Sari stores have lots of lists too!
Fun-in-a-list in ‘Pinaslists!
…put that list includ affidalist inside a ‘BOTTLE’ cap it and throw it to the PinasSealist…the Chinese Navy can pick it up for ChinaLIST discovery of it’s true boundarilist.
Battle rages over NapoLIST http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/04/27/1316583/battle-rages-over-napoles-list
Your website has to be the elrcetonic Swiss army knife for this topic.
vander anievas says
A constitutional crisis may ensue due to napoLIST which no one at the moment wants to re-LIST. Guingona won’t call napoles to the blue ribbon hearings until the DOJ has de-LISTed congressional allies.
If the million-people-march or other groups will aggressively force the issue, it’s possible only the rookie senators elected in 2013 (poe, angara, aquino, villar, binay and JV) may not be purged but they can’t constitute a quorum – hence the constitutional crisis due to napoLIST.
Yes, if am the relative of the victim on that bus, i would be glad to be paid then i will accept apologies,
gone are the dead…none will give bread;.
to those dependants some has infants…
killer killed the innocent, so they can blame the President…
PNOY stirred the boat, paid handsome coat,
send an errand and provide the demands….
BRAVO PNOY, FAIR GOVERNANCE, MERGED POLITICAL FOES
AND SLOWLY BUT SURELY THE POLITICAL DEVILS WILL BE CUT OFF IN THE FUTURE HOPE….
Amazing development in the pork scam as napoles’ “tell-all” affidavit circulates.
Napoles counsel, Bruce Rivera, has been denying that his client is the real mastermind of the scam, claiming that the scheme was already running when napoles joined the operation.
Rivera hinted that the real architect of the scam is “most likely” a government official.
Almost immediately, Sec. Abad denied as ridiculous the tag “pork king” and mentor of napoles (philstar online 4/26/14)
Ping Lacson earlier divulged that he also received a copy and hinted that there are at least 12 past and incumbent senators in the list made by napoles.
Almost immediately, chiz escudero said he’s ready to defend self should his name appear in the list (PDI 4/24)
In like manner, mirriam said “linking me to the pork scam mere psywar” (manila tribune 4/25)
It will be another blockbuster extragabanza if napoles will again testify in the senate blue ribbon hearing next week with names heretofore “unsuspected” being unmasked.
Back to pork as lechon is delicious…
… Lawyers, specially for the whistlers, should not get distracted. It is not ‘Who’ is [or ‘are’] the ‘mastermind[s]. It’s not the issue in those cases.
…correctly said, just CONFESS the GUILT. And TELL ALL. That’s all.
…”The NBI charged 30 people with plunder last September, including Napoles, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr., and Jinggoy Estrada. Also included were the senators’ staff, heads of government agencies and officials of Napoles’ NGOs.
Two months later, the second batch of respondents were charged with malversation of public funds before the ombudsman.
Among them were Liberal Party member and former Customs commissioner Ruffy Biazon, heads of state agencies, Napoles and several NGO chiefs.”
Other gov’t agenices are working so hard to clean up the corruptions. If this will not result in convictions, what then? Should ‘the people’ react…into what? …into how? …into why? …against who? …into when?
Will justice here be the SLOWEST ever since anyone can think of? Look at the Maguindanao massacre case…is it already the slowest case?
vander anievas says
“Will justice here be the SLOWEST ever since anyone can think of?”
oo nga. nakakasawa na rin ang walang katapusang reklamo natin sa kabagalan ng hustisya sa atin.
masasabing isang henyo ang nagpasimuno nang paggahasa sa ating hudikatura.
and what shall be slower than the conviction of Ninoy’s murderer?\
the case can be considered lost in the deep blue sky…
Justice here is the best, it is SLOW like turtle running against Rabbit he he he, somehow DEMOCRACY is ALIVE….
Have you ever gone to AFGHANISTAN? AFRICAN NATIONS? There, you will be butchered just like that with no sins at all he he he…there are more countires worst than these countries….PHILIPPINE IS THE BEST.
Philippine JUSTICE maybe SLOW in some aspect, yet some of these Filipino Lawyers are far more better than any other country justices. Some Filipino Lawyers has Humanitarian reasons while EARNING he he he he.
Combined Duterte like decisions on some of the Lawyers in clandistine meetings with some bounty hunters, some crimes were solved very quickly as YOLANDA he he he…
Democracy in Philippine is sinosoidal wave, constant with some spikes here and there, but goes back to good frequency by some REGULATORS HE HE HE HE who are these? These are the MEDIA, CPM’ERS, GOOD POLITICIANS, GOOD JUSTICES, GOOD POLICEMEN, GOOD MILITARIES, THE FILIPINO MASSES in general…
I think the PNP should now have a pro forma statement of apology to civilians who become victims of their action or inaction Signed by the PNP chief, chief of police, and police precinct commander.
Joe America says
That is good news, quite a relief. Thanks for the report. It would take a lot of courage to do what Purisima did, I think, and Mayor Estrada deserves credit for persistence. I believe as well that Leung was under some heat from the Hong Kong press for being a puppet of China, also for messing with Hong Kong tourism from the Philippines and threatening innocent OFWs. We should give some credit to the thoughtful Hong Kong people who are interested in good relations, not political showmanship over grief.
rallie f. cruz says
I agree with your thoughts Mr. Joe America…for whatever reasons and intentions personal or otherwise, the problem is solved and kudos to all those who made the effort direct or indirect including those who wish and pray..may these be one of the many steps toward relationship be tween Philippines ans China (as HK is now owned by China).
Joe America says
Yes, and I was remiss not to also recognize Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras for his apparent lengthy and meaningful negotiations with Hong Kong.
@Joe A: Sec Almendras must be commended also for choosing to work under the “radar” for many months now to finally put closure (somehow) to the Luneta incident. Someday, one may get to write a book about the difficult diplomacy that went about to resolve the Luneta issue.
Dont forget, the errands Mayor Joseph Estrada, Purisima et al..were approved by PNOY. No matter what goodness they did, it is reflected to PNOY goverment, the President is the current MANAGER of ALL Philippine affairs, even YOLANDA….
I can say PNOY is silent DRAGON.
Joe America says
This is the note I’ve had tacked onto my blog the past day or so:
“Tack the resolution of the Hong Kong affair up as another endorsement of President Aquino’s firm, respectful handling of crisis situations. You do not see him screaming like those Chinese emotionalists do, or throwing insults about that demean other people’s intelligence. He just sticks to his principles and works quietly. Congratulations to all who worked to find a respectful solution to the matter.”
i was not able to go any blog sites because of time limitations, however, that was very great remarks for PNOY he he he i love that…
with PNOY’s current pace of demolitioning the corrupt and establishing development, it will be a pleasant remaining terms…
The next Pres will be ashamed to ruin the development, otherwise worst action than People Power 1, probably CIVIL WAR he he he…
Joe America says
Thanks, mac. Different topic, but I also think the basing agreement was artfully done. All wins for the Philippine negotiating team. I rather think that those who believe this agreement threatens Philippine sovereignty have little confidence in Filipino ability to manage the partnership to good advantage.
And I love the poetry in comment #12.
Martial Bonifacio says
Its been long overdue for HK to accept the PH government words of “sympathy” & compensation w/o a “formal apology” from the President and move on. Though does it mean that Beijing gave its blessing to Hong Kong’s CE to accept Manila’s offer?
In my opinion, PNP is not the only institution at fault during that tragedy. It includes politicians who act only for media mileage then washing their hands after the tragedy unfolded. Media who also aggravated the situation, showing it live broadcast for ratings knowing that the hostage taker is watching/listening, journalist acting as a “mediator/negotiator” though he never had the proper training.
Anyways i’m one of those people who still doubt the motivation of both Erap and CY Leung. One wants to be the Chief executive again in HK 2017 while the other wants to extend his families political life.
Martial Bonifacio says
I guess i was mistaken since Beijing is saying a different tune. So should we be unreasonable and ask China to apologize over the death and injury of a Filipino family tourist in Tianamen square last year?
China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
Dont be a spike, PNOY gov is best suited to ask compensation or otherwise, they are using their diplomatic MINDS in DEMOCRATIC way of life he he he he….
Kudos to all who worked on this solution! Thank you.
…only because this happened due to poor PNP actions…let us hope this will NOT be repeated…how? Mag aral kayo mga pulis …walang tangi-tangi!
Use many COMMON SENSE…study correct and good police methods. Improve common senses among the pulis.
Mayor Erap: Paki turuan mo nga itong mga pulis natin.
he he he he one of the best…keep it up, i am one step behind you he he he
btw…the pulis at that time could have ask other bus companies ‘HOW TO OPEN THE DOOR’…they didn’t use common sense!
…in hostage crisis what is the PRINCIPAL GOAL? …to maintain the safety of the hostages! When a ‘CLEAR SHOT’ is made on the hostage taker, TAKE THE DEADLY SHOT! All others are SECONDARY options…including NEGOTIATIONS!
…PNP policy FAILED ON THIS. Learn simple common sense.
you did it again, it was pretty obvious, failure of the least is failure of the manager he he he, SPO1 fails, naturally,in chain of command, the highest ranking officials gets all the blame he he he
i hope i was not promoted as principal engineer for Instrumentation group, of of the punishment shall be failure of control system design shall be the responsibility of the principal engineer, where do i run from there? No place to hide he he he, the answer is proper management…
That is what was missing not only in police department but the whole government system, especially COA, how come those funds are not provided with databases?
he he he…
Luckyly, we have THE SWEEPER, PNOY, might be slow at the 1st lap or 2nd lap, but HE IS DEFIANTLY A TRIPLE CROWN WINNER, just watched my Leona…he he he
@macspeed…pinoys’ character is ma-ARTE! mAXi-HAMBUGS to too many!
…that’s what is wrong with many of us! Now OBAM comes in…more of this arte and maxi-yabangs! to pLIST Barry O’!
…as you worded it somewhere ‘failure of the LIST!’…hahaha … TY hahaha
paolo a says
i guess that’s what’s keeping Purisima busy these past days. now that its finished, maybe he can now face the issues hounding him regarding ra10591, and the charges files against him for plunder and graft.
Yes he must.
Reasonable in New York says
This is a much welcome news. And. For thousands of pinoys working in hk. They can now relax. I am not a big fan of wrap. But clearly he has the right intention and. Along with the police general. Credit shouldbe given to them for their efforts. As well as the government of hk for finally making it possible to end this. Impasse. I just hoped the rest of the more antagonistic. And cynical pinoys will. See the bigger picture. Now that this matter has been resolved. It’s time to move on
vander anievas says
imo we should give credit to erap too.
no doubt he really pushed and pursued.
if i may add, hope i don’t sound cynical. i was thinking that HK also took this golden opportunity as the most graceful egress of their improbable demand from pnoy.
be it as it may, good job, gen purisima.
congrats to all involved!
You’re correct about HK.
Wala akong nabasa na ERAP o Estrada sa joint statement. Eh, kung mag-aasta si ERAP ay siya ang bida. Ano ba talaga?
He did help by pushing and pushing for a resolution and saying Manila is sorry despite brushoffs and criticisms and insults :)