- President Duterte has formally apologized to Hong Kong over the 2010 hostage-taking incident
- Duterte acknowledged China has been waiting for the formal apology from the Philippine government
- The President said he hopes to assuage the feelings of the Chinese people
After almost 8 years, a Philippine president finally apologized to the victims of the 2010 Manila hostage crisis; a gesture which surprised Hong Kong residents on Thursday, April 12.
In his address to the Filipino community in Hong Kong, Duterte acknowledged that the people of China have always been waiting for a formal apology from the Philippine government over the hostage taking incident that claimed the lives of 8 Hong Kong tourists.
“To the Chinese people who are here, from the bottom of my heart, as President of Republic of the Philippines, may I apologize formally to you now,” Duterte said.
“We are sorry the incident happened, as humanly possible, I would like to guarantee this will never happen again. This will go a long way to really assuage the feelings of the Chinese people,” the President added.
It was an act former President Benigno Aquinoo III refused to make, straining the relationship between the Philippines and China until Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, in behalf of the Philippine government, offered a formal apology in 2014, although he was not yet the mayor of the capital when the incident happened.
The ‘Manila hostage crisis’ also known as the ‘Luneta hostage-taking incident’, happened in August 23, 2010 when disgruntled former cop named Rolando Mendoza hijacked a bus carrying 25 people in Rizal Park.
The failed negotiation and the botched rescue operation that followed, which resulted into the death of nine people including Mendoza himself, has drew condemnation from international community and exposed the weaknesses of the country’s police force.