Fri, September 03, 2010
World > Asia-Pacific > Probe into Manila Hostage Crisis

Philippine president takes responsibility over hostage crisis

2010-09-03 09:55:50 GMT2010-09-03 17:55:50 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

President Benigno Aquino Jr., gestures during a news conference at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila August 18, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

MANILA, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said he is taking responsibility over the failed attempt to save the lives of the eight Hong Kong residents who were held hostage by a dismissed police officer.

Local media ABS-CBN reported that the president said that he had direct supervision of the Philippine National Police (PNP) when the hostage incident was taking place. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the office in charge of the country's police force, was asked to concentrate on something else, he said.

"When I got (DILG Secretary Jess Robredo), I did tell him, that at this point in time, we're trying to consolidate especially with our security forces, I will retain direct supervision on the PNP, until such time that he has addressed other concerns, specifically our promises to the informal sectors of our country," Aquino told reporters.

The president told reporters that Robredo was asked to address concerns such as coming up with a comprehensive plan on delivering social services to and relocating informal settlers in coordination with the local governments.

Aquino said he was responsible for everything that happened.

The country's police force was under fire because of its mishandling of the hostage situation last Aug. 23 that resulted in the death of eight Hong Kong tourists.

A lawmaker has asked Robredo and other cabinet secretaries to take responsibility over the incident by resigning from their posts.

The Philippine Department of Justice is currently conducting an investigation over the incident.

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