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Government statement on Manila hostage-taking incident report review

     Following is a statement by a Government spokesman today (October 12) on the decisions of the Philippine Government after reviewing the report of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee of the Philippines on the hostage-taking incident in Manila:

     The Philippine Government has announced the follow-up actions to be taken against the persons involved in handling the incident.

     Hong Kong people expect the Philippine Government to handle the question of responsibility of the officials and persons involved in a fair manner, and follow through the required actions seriously.  The Philippine Government decided to lessen the recommended actions against the relevant officers named in the first report by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee.  The people of Hong Kong, especially the survivors and the victims' families, will find this hard to accept.  The Hong Kong SAR Government is also disappointed.  We ask that the Philippine Government follow through the required actions.  The eventual actions to be taken against the persons involved must live up to their pledge to be accountable to the public.  That is also what is owed to the dead and the injured.  We will convey our views to the Philippine Government through proper channels.

     The Philippine Government has yet to complete the investigation into the causes of death of the eight victims and causes of injury of others. We hope the Philippine Government will make public their findings as soon as possible.  As far as we understand, the Review Committee of the Philippines will in due course submit a second report on the review of the mechanism and procedures of handling similar incidents.  We hope the report will come up with concrete improvement measures to avoid recurrence of such tragedies.

     Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Police is working at full steam in the investigation as required by the Coroner's Court to submit the final report to the Court for consideration as soon as possible.  Upon receipt of the relevant information, the Coroner will decide whether to hold a hearing.  We are confident that the Coroner's Court will arrive at a fair and professional judgment.

Ends/Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Issued at HKT 19:26


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