Duterte apologizes to Hong Kong, China for 2010 hostage cri­sis

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FOR THE first time, Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte on Thurs­day, April 12, made a pub­lic apol­ogy for the 2010 hostage-tak­ing in­ci­dent in Manila that killed eight tourists from Hong Kong, a spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion of China.

Ac­knowl­edg­ing that it might take time to heal the wounds and re­pair the strained ties be­tween the Philip­pines and Hong Kong, Duterte said all he could do is to apol­o­gize for the deadly hostage cri­sis.

“Let me, for the first time (ad­dress) the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and the peo­ple of China. I’ve al­ways been wait­ing for this. There have been no of­fi­cial apolo­gies com­ing from the Philip­pines re­gard­ing that in­ci­dent that hap­pened in Au­gust of 2010,” the Pres­i­dent said in a speech de­liv­ered be­fore the Filipino com­mu­nity in Hong Kong.

“May I ad­dress my­self to the Chi­nese peo­ple who are here or with us, who joined us. From the bot­tom of my heart, as the Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of the Philip­pines, and in be­half of the peo­ple of the Philip­pines, may I apol­o­gize for­mally to you now. We are sorry that the in­ci­dent hap­pened,” he added.

Eight Hong Kong na­tion­als died in Manila in 2010 af­ter a dis­grun­tled Filipino po­lice­man hi­jacked a bus packed with tourists in a des­per­ate at­tempt to be re­in­stated.

The vic­tims and their fam­i­lies had de­manded an of­fi­cial apol­ogy from the Philip­pine gov­ern­ment.

In 2014, the Hong Kong gov­ern­ment fi­nally de­cided to lift the sanc­tions im­posed against the Philip­pine of­fi­cials. Duterte gave as­sur­ance that his ad­min­is­tra­tion would do its best to en­sure that such in­ci­dent would not hap­pen again.

“And as hu­manly pos­si­ble, I would like to make this guar­an­tee also that it will never, never hap­pen again,” the Pres­i­dent said.

“This would go a long way to re­ally as­suage the feel­ing of the Chi­nese peo­ple be­cause there’s been no apol­ogy com­ing from the mouth. So I will do it. It hap­pened dur­ing our time, this gen­er­a­tion, so it’s only right. Lives were lost un­der our ju­ris­dic­tion. What is re­ally needed is to say we’re very sorry, we apol­o­gize,” he added.

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