No Criminal Charges for Manila Bus Hostage Officials

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Back in August a hostage situation turned deadly in the Philippines. Eight tourists from Hong Kong lost their lives when their bus was hijacked. Now, the president of the Philippines says rescue workers will face administrative sanctions rather than criminal charges... for their poor handling of the crisis.

Eight tourists visiting the Philippines from Hong Kong were killed when police stormed this hijacked bus in August.

The poorly organized rescue attempt, which lasted more than ten hours, sparked outrage and criticism, particularly in Hong Kong.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino said Monday that Manila city Mayor Alfred Lim and four police officers would face administrative sanctions, rather than criminal charges over the incident.

[Benigno Aquina III, Philiipine President]:
"I am ordering that the following actions be taken: Refer to the NAPOLCOM, National Police Commission, the filing of appropriate charges against P/Supt. Rodolfo Magtibay for gross incompetence and serious neglect of duty (under Sec. 2, Rule 21 of the PNP Uniform Rules); Refer to the NAPOLCOM the filing of appropriate charges against Police Director Leocadio Santiago Jr. for less grave neglect of duty (under Sec. 2, Rule 21 of the PNP Uniform Rules); Refer to the NAPOLCOM the filing of appropriate charges against P/Supt. Orlando Yebra for neglect of duty (under Sec. 2, Rule 21 of the PNP Uniform Rules)."

He also said the government was taking steps to improve its ability to respond to future crises.

[Benigno Aquina III, Philiipine President]:
"We have also established a presidential situation room so that actions by the government in crisis situations can be more coordinated and will be swifter."

Two journalists who interfered in the police actions and three major TV networks were spared from facing charges.
Bus

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