Binay, Estrada back Aquino’s refusal to apologize over hostage crisis

MANILA, (PNA) –-Vice President Jejomar Binay and former president now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Thursday expressed their support to President Benigno Aquino’s firm decision not to apologize over the deaths of eight Hong Kong tourists in a 2010 hostage crisis.

In an interview in Tondo, Manila, the two officials said they believe that Aquino’s stance on the issue is reasonable.

“Ang pagkakapaliwanag ni Pangulong Noynoy, tama naman iyon sa aking palagay (In my opinion, President Noynoy’s explanation was valid,” Binay said.

“Ito ho ay insidente sa Maynila. Unang-una, bakit naman ho ang paratang ay sa buong bansa? (The incident took place in Manila, how come the entire country is being blamed?),” the Vice president added.

Binay likewise backed Manila Mayor Estrada’s move to apologize for the unfortunate event.

Estrada is planning to deliver his apology to Hong Kong, as an effort to convince it to lift its black travel warning against the Philippines.

“Tama din naman iyong dating din ng Maynila, sapagkat dito ho nangyari iyong pangyayari (Manila’s plan of issuing an apology is also correct since it took in Manila),” he said.

Reacting on the Hong Kong’s demand for apology, Estrada on the other hand echoed the vice president’s statement.

“We are only speaking of our city hindi entire country. Hindi kailangan mag-apologize ng Pangulo. Sa lungsod lang ng Maynila nangyari hindi sa buong bansa (We are only speaking of our city not of the entire country. There is no need for the President to apologize. The incident happened in Manila not in the entire country),” said Estrada.

“Dahil dito sa Maynila nangyari. So, lahat sagutin ng punong lungsod o punong bayan ang anumang mangyari sa kanilang area of responsibility. Hindi sagutin ng pangulo iyon(Since it took place in Manila. So, the mayor is accountable to everything which took place in his area of responsibility),” he added.

In line with this, Estrada expressed his apology to the victims of the hostage crisis in the capital.

“Humihingi ako ng paumanhin sa mga taga-Hong Kong sa insidenteng hindi dapat nangyari (I am apologizing to all Hong Kong residents over the incident which should not have taken place,” he said.