Hong Kong Residents March for Manila Hostage Victims

Hong Kong residents marched on the streets of the city on Sunday to call on the Philippine government to provide justice to eight locals who were killed in a bloody hostage drama in Manila earlier this week.

Reports said tens of thousands joined the silent rally, which called on Manila to launch a thorough investigation into the alleged mishandling of the hostage crisis by Philippine police. While the protesters marched in silence, they held placards that screamed for justice and criticized Philippine officials, including President Benigno Aquino III, for allegedly failing to prevent bloodshed during the 12-hour hostage crisis.

On Monday, dismissed police officer Rolando Mendoza hijacked a bus carrying 25 Hong Kong tourists and demanded that he be reinstated to his former post because he was wrongfully convicted without due process on the charge of misconduct. When his demands were not met and he saw his brother arrested, Mendoza allegedly became agitated and started firing at hostages, prompting police to launch a rescue operation that some observers said was clearly flawed.

The hostage crisis has driven a wedge between China and the Philippines, raising fears of retaliation against the more than 100,000 Filipinos working in Hong Kong, a Chinese special administrative region. Proof of growing tension between China and the Philippines was the refusal of the Chinese government to accept a team of Philippine officials sent to Beijing by President Aquino in order to discuss the aftermath of crisis.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.