MANILA, Philippines -- An umbrella organization of overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong on Tuesday sympathized with the families of those who died and survived the hostage-taking crisis in Manila and called for a thorough investigation of the failed negotiations and rescue.
The United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) said in a statement that Filipino migrants in the Chinese territory were appalled by the crime as it unfolded on television and were greatly saddened by its ending.
Reports said that eight of the more than 20 passengers ? all from Hong Kong ? of the tourist bus held hostage by Police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza were killed.
The UNFIL-MIGRANTE-HK said those who surived the 12-hour ordeal would definitely find it hard to return to normal lives.
?This act of hostage-taking that victimizes innocent civilians must be condemned,? the group said. ?We call for justice to the victims and all assistance should be made available to them especially those who survived to help in their speedy recovery from their trauma.?
The UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK said there was a need to review how the responding police officers carried out the negotiations and the extraction of the hostage-taker and victims.
It said the question of whether the crisis could have been handled in a better and faster way should be resolved.
?All actions taken by negotiators and police operatives must be examined to the last detail. Even the allegations of slain hostage-taker Mendoza of injustices committed against him must be probed,? it said.
It said the police and the Philippine government owe it to the victims and their families to take steps to prevent this kind of crisis from happening again.
?It is their duty to keep safe and protect the lives of all civilians in the Philippines,? the group said.