Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Mr. Aquino, act responsibly

Updated: 2013-10-29 11:14
By Sun Lin (

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday reiterated that no national government apology should be given to the families of eight Hong Kong tourists who were killed in a 2010 hostage crisis in Manila, one day after Manila’s City Council passed a resolution supporting an apology to be delivered by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

“We submit that the act of one individual should not be construed as the act of the entire nation,” Aquino told members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines during an open forum.

“When I, as president, apologize, then I’m apologizing on behalf of the sin visited by the entire country on these Hong Kong residents, and I don’t think that is appropriate at this point in time,” Aquino said.

What a crappy defense! On live television, we all watched Manila police’s poor handling lead to a shoot-out that left eight of the group dead and seven injured. The police lost many chances to stop the hostage taker. Even the Philippine authorities identified the Philippine officials' incompetence as the cause of the hostages' deaths. Putting all the blame on “one individual” is highly irresponsible, is he saying the police gave their best shot and the killer was unstoppable?

For three years, the victims and their families remained mortified by the Philippines' refusal to formally apologize for the tragedy and to offer compensation. Aquino’s tough stance demonstrates his apathy to life and reluctance to face up to facts.

It’s good to see Mr. Estrada will deliver the apology on his way to Hong Kong next month. However, the incident is far from settled. Beijing should be working closely with Hong Kong to show determination and pressure Aquino to change his mind and act responsibly.