HK media doubt Philippine police on handling of hostage incident

19:05, August 25, 2010      

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Hong Kong continued to be locked in deep sorrow and anger on Wednesday over Monday's abduction tragedy in the Philippines, as the city's media unveiled more details of the 11-hour incident and continued to question the Philippine police on the handling of the incident.

In an editorial, the Ta Kung Pao daily, said the incident, which broke out all of a sudden, dealt a big blow to the Hong Kong government and its people and presented a grave challenge and test.

"Hong Kong people have identified with those involved in the incident, united as one supported one another and expressed strong sense of right and justice. This has been truly affecting, which is set to lend warmth and relief to the heartbroken families of the hostage victims," said the daily.

The newspaper also cast doubt on the Philippine police in dealing with the crisis, asking why the police had missed several important chances to end the crisis at the beginning hours of the incident, which eventually led to great casualties.

The daily said most Hong Kong people were asking the city's government to follow up the incident closely and urged the Philippine authorities to clearly explain the incident in details as soon as possible.

Another daily, Wen Wei Po also run an editorial and doubted the Philippine police. "While the Hong Kong people feel outright angry over the cold-blooded deeds of the murderer, they are also extremely dissatisfied over the Philippine authorities' failure to put as top priority safety of the hostages so as to avoid the tragedy in an effective manner," it said.

The editorial said the hostage-taker's demands sounded no much trickiness and had no strong political implications, which the Philippine authorities should have handled them properly by putting as top priority safety of the hostages.

The Economic Daily said in its editorial that there was no evidence showing that the Philippine police were prepared in terms of manpower, equipment or operational tactics to deal with various emergencies. Accordingly, they missed opportunities to rescue those passengers quickly enough, and they had wasted another hour in rescuing those injured, which could have probably caused deaths of several injured hostages.

These scenarios had made those Hong Kong people who were watching live broadcast of the crisis feel deeply sad and disappointed, said the Economic Daily.

In its editorial, the Ming Pao daily said the incident exposed the Philippine police's general incapability of responding to various emergencies. The newspaper urged the Philippine government to explain the incident openly and honestly.

The hostage crisis in Manila, involving a 21-member Hong Kong tour group, ended on Monday night with eight hostages killed and several others injured, one of whom in critical conditions.

The 21 Hong Kong tourists along with four Filipinos including a driver and a guide on board a bus were taken hostage by a dismissed Filipino policeman on Monday morning.

The hijacker was killed by police in a rescue operation after he shot dead several hostages.



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