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Grabbing credit from Erap

/ 12:33 AM April 26, 2014

The national government is now grabbing the credit for the normalization of relations between the Philippines and Hong Kong after the latter accepted the apology of Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada over the infamous Luneta hostage rescue.

Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and Philippine National Police  chief Alan Purisima, who were with former President Erap, played supporting roles.

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But why is Almendras now saying he was sent by President Noy as trouble-shooter to Hong Kong and that Erap was just part of his entourage?

The Philippine government got the ire of Hong Kong when it consistently refused to apologize for the death of eight Hong Kong tourists during a comical assault of a hijacked bus at Rizal Park in 2010.

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Since P-Noy refused to issue a public apology for the bungled rescue, Erap took the initiative and went to Hong Kong.

Now that Erap’s gesture has appeased Hong Kong, the national government issued a statement that the negotiations took all of seven months.

Without Erap’s initiative do you think the negotiations by our government would have taken place?

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After the apology, the Philippine government must pay just compensation to the victims’ families. The amounts will try to satisfy each of the victims’ families as Almendras said there was no “one size, fits all” approach to the compensation package.

Just as well.

For example, how would the government pay Jason Leung, who has become a paralytic from a skull fracture after a sledgehammer thrown by a “Three Stooges” Manila cop into the bus hit him on the head?

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For a long time, Leung was comatose and although he has recovered, he has difficulty walking and speaking.

And what about Yik Siu-Ling, who was shot in the jaw during the rescue attempt and had to undergo surgery in Taiwan? He should be brought back to the country for facial repair either by Dr. Vicky Belo or Dr. Jean Marquez.

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The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has suspended 42  buses of Victory Liner after one of its vehicles  ran over a woman and fell off a ravine, injuring its 36 passengers.

Why would LTFRB Chair Winston Ginez punish 84 drivers (at two drivers per bus), and an equal number of conductors and maintenance men of the bus company for the fault of one driver?

Accidents cannot be avoided in a bus company which has more than 1,000 units no matter how management stresses safety measures to its personnel which, I heard, Victory Liner does.

Ginez, whose claim to fame is taking part in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, is playing to the gallery again. He would burn the whole house to kill a rat.

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TAGS: column, Joseph Estrada, luneta hostage drama, Metro, Ramon Tulfo
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