MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines acknowledged "inadequacies" in handling a hostage crisis that killed eight Hong Kong tourists, as anger over the botched negotiations erupted Tuesday in Hong Kong with demonstrations and harsh words.
A heartbreaking picture emerged of the victims — a mother of three who lost her husband and two daughters, a teenager oblivious of her parents' death and a tour guide who aspired to become a yoga teacher.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, facing his first major crisis since taking office June 30, declared today a national day of mourning in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong.
Officials promised a full investigation into how hijacker Rolando Mendoza, 55, a former police officer demanding his job back, was able to gun down eight of the 15 Hong Kong hostages on board the bus before a sniper killed him and officers were finally able to get into the vehicle. Seven other hostages survived the final bloodbath, which came after a 12-hour standoff at a seaside Manila park.
Philippine Interior Secretary Jessie Robredo, who is in charge of the national police, acknowledged Tuesday there were problems with how the crisis was handled.