De Lima denies HK trip rumor
MANILA, Philippines–Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday brushed off a rumor she was supposed to apologize to the Hong Kong government for the hostage rescue fiasco in Luneta park in Manila on Aug. 23, 2010.
The botched rescue left eight Hong Kong tourists dead along with the hostage-taker, a dismissed Manila police officer, and seven other Hong Kong tourists injured.
De Lima clarified she was never instructed by the President to make the official apology demanded by the Hong Kong government.
“There is no truth to the rumor that I will go to Hong Kong today. I don’t know where that came from. Many people texted me about it yesterday,” she told reporters at the Department of Justice Monday.
“It’s kind of strange this rumor went the rounds because in the first place the President has not talked to me about it,” she added.
The rumor was fed by a comment made on the matter by Malacañang deputy spokesman Abigail Valte Sunday during an interview over government-owned Radyo Ng Bayan.
De Lima said Valte afterwards sent her a text message asking about the purported Hong Kong trip.
“Someone asked (Valte) about it so she thought it was true. So when she texted me, she was just actually inquiring about the details,” de Lima said.
“When I told her I have no plan to go to Hong Kong, she was just as surprised,” she added.
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