Philippine President admits he should've been "more active" in resolving hostage crisis

17:14, September 09, 2010      

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Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said Thursday he should have taken a more active role in resolving the August 23 hostage-taking incident that led to the death of eight tourists from Hong Kong.

"Perhaps, I should have taken a more active role," Aquino said in an interview with the anchors of the country's three largest networks.

Aquino said that he decided not to "micro manage" the situation, believing that the police, led by Manila Police District Chief Rolando Magtibay and Leocadio Santiago, regional director for the National Capital Region of the Philippine National Police (PNP), can handle it.

"My belief that Santiago would oversee Magtibay properly didn't happen," he said.

Aquino recounted his role in the crisis, saying that he was informed of the hostage taking around 11 a.m. At that time, he was busy reviewing the draft for the 2011 budget, responding to the increasing dengue cases and reading newspapers.

Shortly after receiving a text message that there was a hostage taking in Manila, he immediately contacted PNP Chief Jesus Verzosa. He also monitored the incident through watching TV.

In the end, however, he decided to go to the command post in Emerald Restaurant as he was frustrated with the handling of the hostage negotiation.

Source: Xinhua


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