Philippine President says hostage crisis won't define his administration

17:15, September 09, 2010      

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Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III said Thursday the hostage crisis that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead won't define his administration.

"Let me just say that this incident will not define this administration. In the end, my administration will be judged on what we have accomplished and what we will accomplish in the coming years: a reduction in poverty in our country and the restoration of a government that is honest and sincere in its efforts to build a better nation," Aquino said.

Aquino made the statement when he faced a group of journalists to shed light on what really took place during the 11-hour hostage crisis on August 23.

Aquino was grilled for about one-and-a-half hours by three anchor persons from the three major television networks in the country -- ABS-CBN, TV5 and GMA7.

"There has been much speculation and commentary on our response to the crisis. Some of the speculation and commentary comes from a lack of knowledge of what really happened during the day," he said.

But at the same time, he expressed confidence that the results of the investigation being conducted by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) headed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on the hostage fiasco "will be fair, impartial and thorough."

Aquino said his administration also started efforts to improve the capability of the police forces to better handle situations like the hostage crisis should they arise in the future.

He added that the government is also examining its internal processes and crisis management protocols to see how they can be improved.

"The results of all these efforts will be known by the public in the coming days," he said.

The hostage crisis, perpetrated by a dismissed policeman, who was killed in the assault, was considered as the biggest test of the two-month old Aquino administration.

Source: Xinhua


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