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President Noynoy Aquino (PNoy) Faces Media Panel and Answers Manila Hostage Crisis Issues

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - PNoy answered questions of the top three media stations today in a no holds barred media interview for one and a half hour. The media panel were composed of GMA 7's Mel Tiangco, ABS-CBN's Ted Failor and TV 5's Paulo Bediones.

The question centers on the issues surrounding the Manila Bus Hostage Crisis last August 23, 2010 were 10 Hongkong nationals was left dead. The investigation conducted the Incident Investigation and Review Committee's (IIRC) headed by Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima concluded their investigation, Wednesday, September 8.

President Aquino said that upon completion of the investigation surely "heads will roll" and those who were proven to have committed culpable negligence will surely pay for what happened in the hostage taking.

PNoy also said that he was disappointed over what had happened specially when he saw what the police did when they stormed the bus. Seeing this on television prompted him to seek for those people in charge which he found to be at the Emerald. PNoy in contrast to previews report did not eat there but seek to clarify what happened with the concerned officers.

"Nung nangyari na po yung pagbaril sa gulong ng bus, yung napakatagal na pagapasok ng SWAT, yung hindi alam yung gagawin ng SWAT, dun po talagang napuno na tayo na yung assurances na binibigay sa atin eh hindi po natupad at tumungo tayo at hinanap na natin yung mga opisyal na concerned," he said.

(When the shooting of the bus tire happened, the long time it took the SWAT to enter the bus, the seeming confusion on what to do, that made me really irritated because the assurance they gave me did not happen and I immediately went to look for the officials concerned)

The President also said that he was busy during August 23 because the deadline for the budget was nearing, however he was on top of the situation and monitored all that transpired. It was at around 11:00am where he had first knowledge of the hostage taking when he received a text message. From thereon he monitored the situation via his home at Bahay Pangarap in the PSG compound.

President Aquino called several officials to ensure that everything will went well and that the negotiation will be a success. He even said that the people in charge of the situation assured him of that, as well as the assurance that in any case an assault is needed the Special Action Force (SAF) will be used.

The media also asked if he regretted not answering the call of Hongkong's Chief Executive, to this PNoy said that there are certain protocols to follow and his first job is to ensure safety of the hostages.

It was also revealed that a strong worded letter from China had reached the Office of the President and was addressed to President Aquino, however PNoy decided not to answer the letter and remain calm on the situation.

One of the things which he wished he had donewas to sit down with the media to ascertain how the sensitive incident should have been covered.

In order to make amends for what had happened President Aquino said that he will ensure that capacity building and skill enhancement measures will be done to improve the capabilities of concerned agencies.

Overall, President Aquino said that he took responsibility because in the end it was his task to ensure that everything will be followed. The negotiation and resolution failed but such incident will not be the sole judgment for his administration.

"This incident will not define this administration," Aquino said.

Overall the interview was an eye-opener and gives a view on how President Aquino handles his government. He is a democratic and trustful president who believes in the capacity of those in the government.

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