Hong Kong Still Reeling from Manila Hostage Crisis

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MANILA—Former Manila Police officer Roberto Mendoza held a bus of tourists from Hong Kong hostage for 11 hours on Monday, fatally shooting eight victims and leaving seven survivors. Filipino TV network ABS-CBN reports that Manila Police Chief Rodolfo Magtibay, who ordered the ill-fated rescue mission, was fired from his post on Wednesday, amid outrage over a myriad of mistakes during the stand-off. The PNP leadership also suspended four other police officers over the hostage crisis. President Benigno Aquino III ordered flags in all government offices to fly at half-mast, but ABS-CBN reports that anger over the handling of the crisis, both in the Philippines and Hong Kong, largely overshadowed the gesture.

The Chinese newspaper Sing Tao Daily reports that although the hostage crisis is over, the survivors of the tragedy will live with anger and sadness for years to come. Amy Ng, who lost her husband, Kenneth Leung, and their eldest daughter, 21-year-old Doris Leung, and youngest daughter, 14-year-old Jessie Leung, criticized the Philippine government for not coming to their rescue sooner. Ng said her only hope now is that her 18-year-old son Jason Leung, who was severely injured and is still unconscious after surgery, will survive.

The Hong Kong and Chinese governments voiced anger over the failed rescue effort performed by the Philippine police and have demanded an extensive investigation. The Hong Kong government has put the Philippines on its travel blacklist, warning residents not to travel there in the near future.

The Sign Tao also reports that the hostage crisis in Manila has affected the way Filipinos in Hong Kong are treated. Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong have faced hostility since the tragedy and many have been laid off unfairly, the newspaper reports. 

A Wednesday editorial in the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post said Filipinos are the “wrong targets" of this collective anger. The editorial argued that venting anger against all Filipinos, for the "incompetent" actions of a few, “smacks of racism."