Still nursing the pain of losing their compatriots, China hits reports that Rolando Mendoza, the slain hostage-taker, had a Philippine flag laid over his coffin.
"Television reports showed that Rolando Mendoza, the cold-blooded hostage taker, was laid in his house in a coffin draped in the Philippine national flag," Chinese Embassy in the Philippines said in a statement.
By tradition, slain members of the police or military have a flag draped over their coffins to symbolize heroism.
However, Mendoza had been dismissed from the service and his dismissal was his main reason for staging the 12-hour hostage crisis that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.
"The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines condemns the brutality of the criminal and expresses its strong indignation over this irritating act," the embassy said in a statement.
"The person who deserves a national flag at funeral should be someone of heroism, decency and integrity, not someone who inflicts atrocity on innocent lives," the embassy added.
Ricky Carandang, Presidential Communications Group Develop-ment Secretary attempted to pacify China’s growing outrage, saying that nobody from the government has ordered the draping of the Philippine flag on Mendoza’s coffin.
"Nobody from the government has ordered that," Carandang added. "That was an act of [his] family."
He said, "the government understands the concern of the Chinese government." (by Thea Alberto)
Jinggoy, Kris Feel Backlash
of Hong Kong Outrage
of Hong Kong Outrage
Well-known personalities like the sister of President Benigno Aquino III and the son of former president Joseph Estrada, tasted the growing backlash of outrage in the wake of the August 23 bloody hostage-taking in Manila, which left eight Hong Kong tourists and the Filipino hostage-taker dead. Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada said, his passport was thrown at him by an immigration officer upon his arrival at the Hong Kong International Airport last week. According to Estrada, the immigration officer was apparently incensed when he saw on the passport that the arriving visitor is a Filipino. Estrada however said that he chose to shrug off the incident since he understood the grief Hong Kong residents felt after the bloody incident 12 days ago.
On August 23, dismissed police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza hijacked a bus carrying 21 Hong Kong tourists and four Filipinos. After an 11-hour hostage drama, nine people died— the hostage-taker and eight Hong Kong tourists.
A Hong Kong-based human rights group earlier voiced concerns over reports that some Filipinos in the special Chinese region are already encountering signs of hostility after last Monday’s after the hostage tragedy. Presidential sister Kris Aquino-Yap said that she too experienced being shouted down by relatives of the survivors when she visited them last Tuesday. Her name is Lee. It was she who, for 25 to 30 minutes, talked to me non-stop. Sometimes she was shouting. But it’s okay.
Relating the incident later to her brother, President Aquino, Kris described how she felt humbled. Noy, you know, I really felt so small at that point. It takes a lot of courage for you to face the victims.
Like Senator Estrada, the President’s sister said too that she chose to just remain silent during the incident since she understood how the victim’s relative felt.
The Philippine government earlier appealed to the people of Hong Kong not to blame Filipinos residing in the territory for the deaths, since they are also "in grief" over the incident. An editorial in the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong daily, also reminded its readers that Filipinos in the Chinese territory are the "wrong targets" of resentment over Monday’s incident.
The three other sisters of President Aquino — Maria Elena "Ballsy" Cruz, Aurora Corazon "Pinky" Abellada and Victoria Eliza "Viel" Dee — meanwhile offered prayers and offered flowers on Friday last week at the Quirino Grandstand, Manila, where the ill-fated tourist bus was held hostage. (by Andreo C. Calonzo) /MP