MANILA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Justice Secretary Lilia de Lima said Thursday that it's the hostage taker's gunfire that killed the eight tourists from Hong Kong on a hijacked bus on August 23.
De Lima, who heads the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC), said this conclusion was confirmed in the testimonies presented by the hostage survivors from Hong Kong and bus driver Alberto Lubang.
"We were not able to get the accounts of other hostages because they did not give consent to us. But the accounts of three survivors are substantial enough," de Lima told a press briefing.
De Lima added that based on the survivors account, the IIRC can say that the hostages "were really killed by the hostage taker"-- dismissed police officer Rolando Mendoza, who was also killed after police assaulted the hijacked bus to rescue the hostages.
The IIRC will submit its report to President Benigno Aquino III on Friday, in which the committee will recommend criminal and administrative charges against at least ten people who are found liable for the mishandling of the hostage crisis, de Lima said.
"The power of the committee is merely recommendatory. We are not a quasi-judicial body. Our main mandate is to find out what happened and make appropriate recommendations based on the evaluation of action, the non-action, missteps, lapses, negligence and incompetence," she said.