ashamed ! #aug23

WHY WHY WHY is president aquino snubbing the survivors and families of the victims of the august 23 hostage-taking massacre who are back in town, no matter how they fear and hate manila?  why has he denied them an audience with his excellent self as they commemorate the painful deaths of their loved ones exactly a year ago today?

WHAT WHAT WHAT is it about this president that he cannot find the time or the face or the grace to properly meet with these aggrieved hongkong chinese who deserve at the very least to be welcomed with shared sorrow and sympathy, at the very best to be heard, by cleaner ears, as they express their continuing, and very very valid, grievances re the botched hostage-taking?

the way i read lacierda’s explanation, it is because the bereaved chinese are accompanied by a democratic party legislator (james to kun-sun), therefore such a meeting would have “political color”, meaning i suppose that it would win points for the legislator but maybe not for the president who has a forthcoming state visit to the communist/socialist mainland?

Days before the first anniversary of the hostage tragedy, Lacierda expressed reservations over the group’s request to meet Aquino.

Lacierda said the request could have a “political color” since the group had been accompanied by a lawmaker with the elections in Hong Kong forthcoming.

But the victim’s brother stressed that they were never interested in politics.

“We are just normal citizens in Hong Kong. We do not know politics. What I can only see in this event is that my brother got killed without any reason. The rescue team in the Philippines could not save my brother. They could not save lives,” Tse Chi-hang said.

…Legislator To also urged the Chinese government to represent the group’s interest in the forthcoming state visit of President Aquino in Beijing.

“We want the Central People’s Government to take advantage of the meeting with the Philippine president in the coming several days to represent the interest of the families to negotiate for the settlement and apology for the Hong Kong families, Hong Kong people and Chinese citizens,” To said.

here’s more on the china visit by manila bulletin’s roy mabasa:

Aquino will be accompanied by senior foreign and defense officials, underscoring the importance the Philippine government has placed on the trip.

The visit was arranged as early as March amid the outrage in the country over Beijing’s execution of three Filipino drug convicts.

President Hu formally invited Aquino during last year’s Leaders’ Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Aquino himself confirmed earlier that an invitation from the Chinese government had been sent to him.

In an earlier interview, Chinese Ambassador to Manila Liu Jianchao said Chinese officials were open to discussing with President Aquino the Spratlys issue during his visit.

“Everything can be talked about, but we can talk about issues in a very good faith and goodwill, in a spirit of seeking well-measured settlement of these issues. More than this we can work ways to maintain peace and stability in the region where we have disputes,” Liu told the Manila Bulletin.

“I’m sure we have the wisdom to keep peace and stability in this region and at the same time both of us could benefit from such a stable and peaceful region,” he added. “In particular, we can cooperate in this region in exploring and developing the resources. This is going to be a wonderful arrangement and at the same time we can reduce the possibility for a possible conflict. So, this is going to be a wonderful one.”

Liu also welcomed the visit, pointing out that this will further promote “the wonderful relations between the two countries in many realms: in political confidence and trust, economic cooperation, trade, and people to people exchanges.”

wonderful daw, lol.  of course we have no idea what the quid pro quos are, ‘no?  given our trade and investment needs, lalo na our spratlys claim, it may be that the prez is walking on eggs, scared of ruffling mainland feathers.  for all we know a formal apology to the chinese government and to the hongkong chinese may be in the offing finally, but in the mainland and addressed to the highest officials first?  better safe than sorry?

unfortunately the snub here and now, when we are confronted with memories of that awful awful day that filipinos would rather forget but cannot, so shameful and disgraceful and horrible was it, boggles minds and hearts.  according to what values and ethics is it all right for the aquino government to behave like it owes the bereaved hongkong chinese nothing: no formal apology, no compensation from the government, and no heads of top guns rolling?

it doesn’t help that history channel‘s docu The Manila Hostage Massacre had as its star resource person no less than mediaman erwin tulfo who had the gall to pontificate re the authorities’ shortcomings.  tulfo, with mike rogas, in my book, deserves worse than the 10,000 peso fine imposed by the KBP for his ill-timed ill-advised intervention in a police matter involving endangered lives, and with international repercussions.

here’s the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility:

The KBP Standards Authority December 2010 decision declared that:

“The Authority finds cause to hold the following respondents liable for first offenses (against) certain provisions of the Broadcast Code, as follows:

“On respondents Radio Mindanao Network (Radyo Mo Nationwide, RMN), Michael Rogas, and Erwin Tulfo, for having violated Sec. 1, Art. 6, Part I of the Broadcast Code (Coverage of crimes in progress), the following penalties are hereby imposed: The sum of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) and censure on respondent Radio Mindanao Network; the sum of Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000.00) and reprimand on respondent Michael Rogas; and the sum of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) and reprimand on respondent Erwin Tulfo, all in accordance with the offense classification and range of penalties provided in Art. 4.1, Part III of the Broadcast Code.

“We, however, find no cause to hold Jesus J. Maderazo of RMN liable under the Broadcast Code.

“On respondent ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, for having violated Sec. 4, Art. 6, Part I of the Broadcast Code (Schedule of Penalties for Grave Offenses) , the following penalties are hereby imposed The sum of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) and censure, in accordance with the offense classification and range of penalties provided in Art. 4.2, Part III of the Broadcast Code.

“On respondent Associated Broadcasting Company (TV5), for having violated Sec. 4, Art. 6, Part I of the Broadcast Code, the following penalties are hereby imposed: The sum of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) and censure, in accordance with the offense classification and range of penalties provided in Art. 4.2, Part III of the Broadcast Code.”

The penalties do not seem to be commensurate to the wrongdoing. Among its options, the KBP chose not to suspend Rogas and Tulfo for the major ethical offense of interviewing Mendoza during the most crucial stages of the crisis.

In the first place, however, the KBP decision, comparable to a mountain’s laboring to produce a mouse, had been almost a year in the making. In all that time, its Standards Authority simply decided not to include GMA Network Inc. (GMA-7) in its investigation because the network is not a KBP member.

lest president aquino and the kbp have forgotten: it was a shameful shameful shameful day and the survivors and families of the victims deserve an apology, compensation, and justice.

command responsibility
command responsibility 2
command responsibility 3
holding back
what if
brief narratives
ressa, media, flunk test
media & national interest
Truth and consequence
vilifying media
no laws broken, no heads rolling


  1. There was a history in China where a number of Filipinos were also killed in a hostage and massacre incident. I can’t recall nor would I venture to guess the president of China giving an audience or entertaining the Filipino relatives of those killed. If we expect the president of China to be doing that, well then, the Why Why Why of this article seems to be fair questions.

  2. Hi, I am the director of The Manila Hostage Massacre shown on History-Asia, and I want to say thank you for representing a voice of the mainstream media and finally giving a reaction to the docu.

    At around the same time as when you posted this article, I was also busy writing up my own reflective comment on making the film, as a director. Thought you might like to see. Link is above. Let me know if you cannot open. I am based here in Manila.

    Thanks again for your in depth reaction to the film.

  3. The same question I was asking last year: where was the honorable president all that time? He was in a party? he was playing billards? he was in a budget hearing, what? For a government which swears to transparency as one of its highest qualities, why could it not give a straight honest answer? To me, this incident has unwittingly bared something terrible, something dreadful about the president. If he was watching on tv all that time… uh-ohh. Then, that smile,… that smile makes me wanna have a long conversation with a psychologist.

    • How to properly appreciate the event: Randy David should try imagining that some of his loved ones— wife, son and daughter—were inside that bus, then he should try watching the entire video of the event over and over again…

      The Tribune editorial says it well:

      “…the whole world saw a COMEDY rivaling the Police Academy series. It would have been HILARIOUS, had it not resulted in the death of eight of the hostaged tourists.”(caps mine)

    • tiaongero

      yes, there was indeed time, more than enough time for the gov’t to do something to avoid or minimize the casualties, but sadly nothing was done… this is precisely the main point why apologies should be extended…

      • tiaongero :) from jarius bondoc: Phl by intl law required to render justice for HK victims…”One year since, relatives of the Hong Kong tourists killed in the Luneta hostaging still feel bitter. And rightly so. For, the Philippines has not corrected the wrong. That is, it has not punished those accountable for the hostaging and the botched rescue. Nor has it recompensed the victims in any way. The demanded apology from the Philippine government was in vain.

        “Are the Hong Kong victims entitled to justice, reparations and official contrition? Yes, says law professor Dennis B. Funa. International law, in fact, obliges the Philippine government to render it.

        “Two doctrines operate, Funa says: on state responsibility and treatment of aliens. From these, “A State is under obligation to make reparation to another State for the failure to fulfill its primary duty, in accordance with international law, to afford proper protection due to an alien who is a national of the latter State.” The International Law Commission adopted it in August 2001 under the “Draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for International Wrongful Acts.” It requires the Philippine government to prosecute all the negligent wrongdoers in the Luneta hostaging, and to pay damages to the victims.

        “The traditional notion of state responsibility refers to the liability of states for injuries caused to aliens, Funa explains. A state must exercise due diligence to avert foreseeable injuries to foreign nationals. Upon learning of an imminent threat to a foreign national, a state must provide adequate police protection. If an injury is caused, the state must provide redress. That is, ensure punishment for the harm and lay down preventive measures. Funa cites Janes v. Mexico (U.S. v. Mexico, 4 Rep., Int’l. Arb. Awards 83, 1925). The ruling held Mexico liable for the failure of its authorities to immediately, efficiently apprehend the injurers of an American national.

        “Originally international law covered only protection from physical harm. It evolved to include several rights of foreign nationals, such as against discrimination. Protections sought for aliens now include human rights.

        “In the Luneta incident all the participants were government officials and personnel — including the hostage-taking policeman. Gross negligence marked the handling, which led to the deaths of some hostages. No less than the investigating commission confirmed so.

        “Under international law, Funa says, the legal consequences for the breaching state are:
        • duty to cease and not to repeat;
        • duty to make full reparations — by restitution, compensation or satisfaction.

        “On the part of the injured state:
        • right to invoke responsibility;
        • limited right to take counter-measures.

        “A state has the right to expel aliens or to declare certain diplomats persona non grata. It also has the duty to protect aliens within its territory.”



    Sec. 1. Universally accepted ethical practices and code of conduct for broadcast media, pertinent Philippine laws and their implementing rules and regulations are deemed adopted in this Code.

    Sec. 2. Violations of universally accepted ethical principles and code of conduct for broadcast media not otherwise specifically covered by this Code shall be sanctioned with censure.

    are pointers from Poynter universally accepted standards?

    if they are universally accepted standards then Rogas and Tulfo should learn those “pointers” by heart!!!

  5. Diehard Pinoy

    tiaongero, the state’s dysfunctional govt is partly to blame for mishandling of HK victims and therefore should apologize. But, as per Mr. Funa, we should also be obligated to follow the International law on protecting the rights of aliens. Unfortunately, i have worked for 30 years in the Middle East, majority of which the rights of our OFWs have been criminally violated DAILY specifically, Saudi Arabia. Have we heard the govt of Saudi Arabia issued apologies for unpunished human rights violations of their local businessmen and citizens/. It seems we are expected that these unilateral laws to implement while we cannot enforce other countries to follow the same. my 5cents worth of opinion.