Philippine fact finding body recommends filing of charges against officials for hostage fiasco

19:16, September 20, 2010      

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The Philippine fact finding committee has recommended the filing of charges against senior local and police officials who are believed to be liable for the Aug. 23 hostage fiasco that led to the death of eight tourists from Hong Kong, President Benigno Aquino III said Monday.

Aquino said in a press briefing that the Incident Investigation and Review Committee recommends that charges be filed against former Philippine National Police Chief Jesus Verzosa, Manila Police District's former Director Rodolfo Magtibay, National Capital Region Police Chief Director Leocadio Santiago, Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, chief hostage negotiator Orlando Yebra Jr., Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Vice Mayor Isko Moreno.

Aquino added the IIRC has also advised that broadcast reporters Michael Rogas and Erwin Tulfo, Senior Inspector Santiago Pascual, who was the head of the Special Weapons and Tactics that conducted the assault, and Deputy Ombudsman for military and other law enforcement offices Emilio Gonzales II be held liable for the bungled hostage rescue attempt.

Aquino said the IIRC did not mention specific charges that will be filed against them. He has also handed a copy of the report to a legal team composed of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Eduardo de Mesa to review the IIRC's recommendations.

"The IIRC report is recommendatory in nature," Aquino stressed, adding that "it's possible I will subscribe to the entirety of the report, add or eliminate some recommendations of the IIRC."

Aquino said he will study the legal team's recommendations after he arrives from his week-long visit to the U.S.

"As I am now leaving on an important mission, I want to emphasize that I do not want make decisions regarding such important matters without a thorough review. I will study their findings upon my return, and decide accordingly," he said.

Aquino will be leaving for the U.S. Monday night to attend the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York and meet with U.S. business leaders. He will return to Manila on Sept. 28.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王寒露)

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