Duterte publicly apologizes for HK tourists killed in bus hostage-taking almost 8 years ago
President Rodrigo Duterte apologized on Thursday to the Chinese government and to its people for the bus hostage taking in Manila where eight Hong Kong tourists were killed almost eight years ago.
Duterte made the apology in a speech in front of the Filipino community in Hong Kong.
"Let me for the first time, the Chinese government and the people of China haves always been waiting for this. There has been no official apology coming from the Philippines regarding that incident that happened in August of 2010," he said.
"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 Republic of the Philippines and in behalf of the people of the Philippines, may I apologize formally to you now," Duterte said.
"We are sorry that the incident happened, and as humanly possible, I would like to make this guarantee also that it will never, never happen again. I hope this would go a long way to really assuage the feeling of the Chinese people and government," he added.
He said it was only right for him to apologize because lives were lost under the Philippine jurisdiction.
"What is really needed is just to say we're sorry. We apologize," he said.
Eight tourists from Hong Kong were killed during the bus hostage-taking at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila in August 2010. The hostage-taker, a dismissed police officer, was also killed in the incident.
Then President Benigno Aquino III refused to issue an apology.
But former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, during his visit to Hong Kong in 2014, apologized to the relatives of those who perished in the tragedy. Celerina Monte/DMS