Erap leaving for HK with money for kin of hostage victims

Posted at 04/21/14 5:33 PM

MANILA - Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada will leave for Hong Kong on Tuesday in an attempt to fix the country’s damaged relations with China’s special administrative region over the bungled police rescue during a hostage crisis in 2010.

Estrada, who earlier said the city means to apologize, will bring with him the monetary assistance for the families of the victims of the Quirino Grandstand hostage-taking.

Rolando Mendoza took hostage a tourist bus in August 2010 to decry his case, which first stemmed from his dismissal from service.

The hostage crisis turned into a bloodbath, leaving the hostage taker and eight Hong Kong tourists dead.

In pushing Manila’s apology, Estrada earlier told The Philippine Star, “I am negotiating on behalf of the more than 160,000 OFWs in Hong Kong and the city government. I’m worried not only for the Hong Kong nationals who visit our country but for the OFWs as well.”

Malacanang still refuses to apologize, saying it was an act by a single Filipino.

Estrada, however, will be travelling with Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras and Philippine National Police Chief Alan Purisima.

In his absence, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno will be officer-in-charge for the city. – from a report by Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News