An interfaith memorial service was held in Manila for the victims of the bus hijacking. Catholic bishops, Buddhist monks and others gathered and called for justice for the victims. An investigation of the tragic incident where eight Hong Kong tourists were killed has been launched by the Filipino authorities and Hong Kong police.
On Tuesday, people of different faiths came together to remember victims of a hostage drama that turned deadly in the Philippines last week. Catholic bishops, Buddhists monks, police officers and government officials gathered at the site where a bus was taken hostage by a disgruntled police officer, who killed eight passengers... tourists from Hong Kong.
Members of the Filipino-Chinese community also joined the memorial.
The people called for a fair investigation of the case, which the government has promised to fast-track.
[Broderick Pabillo, Bishop from Manila]:
"Not only the Chinese are calling for the just and swift investigation of this case, we Filipinos demand the same from our officials. Bring out the truth, let those responsible for whoever they may be held accountable, no whitewash, no scapegoats. Let there be new life in our justice system."
Filipinos who joined the mass said they wanted to show their solidarity with the people of Hong Kong.
[Lourdes Babon, Housewife]:
"I am praying that the Chinese will understand that we didn't want this to happen. And I hope they will understand that Filipinos are willing to learn. I hope they can forgive us, if ever we are at fault."
The tragic incident has cast doubts on the Philippine police's capabilities to address such threats, and on the discipline in its ranks. The hostage-taker was a disgruntled ex-police captain who was dismissed over a robbery-extortion case. He denied wrongdoing and claimed he was unjustly fired.
Hong Kong had issued a black travel advisory to the Philippines following the hostage-taking.