Why Mayor Estrada Is Wrong on Hong Kong


Rosa Parks. A different bus.

Subtitled: Filipinos Should Not Move to the Back of the Bus

As is often the case, kindly bear with me as I wander through some facts and acts, and examine things a bit, before arriving at a conclusion.

I’m sure most of you are aware of the background of the incident commonly known as the “Bus Massacre”. Eight Hong Kong tourists were killed on August 23, 2010, when an angry Filipino, holding the tourists hostage on a bus, opened fire on the hostages as Filipino police, trying to apprehend him, charged the bus.

The case has festered for three years because Hong Kong demands apology and remuneration from the Philippines while President Aquino holds to a “no apology” position. It is about as intricate as an issue comes. It reflects cross-cultural dynamics, national sovereignty, legal issues, and a lot of human emotions.

A Quick-Study of the Situation

Here is a wide-ranging list of some pertinent details that are in some way related:

  • Hong Kong holds that the Philippine government was negligent in how officials handled the situation, resulting in unnecessary deaths. Hong Kong demands an official apology from the Philippine government, cash payments to families, punishment of officials in charge, and clear steps to assure a repeat will not occur.
  • The Philippines (President Aquino) holds that the incident was the result of the hostage taker’s transgressions, and that Philippine officials responded the best that they could in a circumstance of considerable danger and unpredictability. The Philippines has expressed its regrets to the families of the slain tourists and offered financial remuneration to victims.
  • Yesterday, November 5, 2013, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive issued a 30-day ultimatum to the Philippines, essentially “do as we tell you or face sanctions.”
  • The bus scene was broadcast live by Philippine television stations. The hostage taker could see the approach of police from a television monitor on the bus.
  • The Philippines conducted an immediate, comprehensive investigation and shared its report directly with China. The report was highly critical of the handling of matters by Philippine authorities. Indeed, Filipinos generally consider the matter “bungled” by government and police officials. The investigative report recommended charges against 15 people or organizations.
  • China may have hardened Mr. Aquino’s stand by presenting a detailed list of instructions as to how the Philippines should deal with matters. Mr. Aquino considered the letter insulting. Hong Kong officials deny such a letter was sent.
  • Manila Mayor Estrada, seeking to diffuse a situation which serves neither Hong Kong nor the Philippines well, has tried to deliver an official apology from the City of Manila to Hong Kong, along with a promise of payments to families. Hong Kong declined to receive the apology and angrily re-iterated its demands.
  • Hong Kong is a part of China.
  • China and the Philippines are in a territorial dispute near Philippine coasts. The Philippines has taken the matter to the United Nations arbiter for resolution, over China’s objection.
  • China’s leaders refuse to visit the Philippines.
  • Racially demeaning slurs fly both directions in social commentary.
  • Hong Kong was accused by a human rights group in 2001 of racially discriminatory government acts toward foreign workers; Hong Kong defended itself by saying that proposals made by the organization would heighten racial discord.
  • Mayor Estrada is a member of UNA, a major political party running against President Aquino’s LP candidates and candidates of other parties aligned with LP.

What Do We Take from This?

This is not as simple as Hong Kong would make it. “You messed up. Apologize, pay up and jail some people. Prove it won’t happen again.”

Some things are obvious:

  • First and foremost, the matter was tragic for the Hong Kong families. No question.
  • Second, there is no question as to who murdered, or caused the killing of, Hong Kong tourists. The hostage taker.
  • Third, there is no question as to the poor handling of the matter by Philippine government officials and police.

The facts are clear, the investigations done, the matter understood.

To the extent that there are enduring issues, they pertain more to the relationship between Hong Kong – or China – and the Philippines than they do regarding the particulars of what happened.

The Philippine government is not without compassion, and has expressed its regrets to the families of those killed and injured. Certainly, no Philippine official WANTED this tragedy to occur. That innocence of motive, and the forthright self-examination undertaken by the Philippines, seems to have escaped the Chinese.

The incident remains hurtful as long as the matter is not laid to rest. The matter is laid to rest in the Philippines, officially, but not in Hong Kong, officially.

One can surmise that if the situation were reversed, Hong Kong officials would take essentially the same position as the Philippines has taken. It is the appropriate stance to take to protect sovereignty and legal rights. And, of course, if the situation were reversed, Filipinos would be outraged at Hong Kong’s refusal to apologize and there would be rallies in protest in the Philippines.

A neutral observer would argue that the matter should go to an international court for resolution, but no such steps have been taken. When the Philippines took China to the international arbiter over territorial rights, China objected angrily. One can imagine the same reaction if the Hong Kong matter were taken by the Philippines to an international arbiter for resolution. The Chinese do not respect such venues and are not willing to subjugate their national interests to other states or international courts.

Yet Hong Kong expects the Philippines to subjugate her national interests to Hong Kong.

As with the island territorial dispute, there is only one resolution that is acceptable to Hong Kong. The one that Hong Kong – that China – wants.

The Philippines could diffuse the anger by bowing to Hong Kong’s demands, but doing so would:

  • suggest there was a willful negligence rather than incompetence,
  • set a precedent of legal and financial obligation for future incidents that had tragic results,
  • infringe on sovereign decisions of the Philippine state,
  • risk encouraging Chinese adventurism (China seeing the Philippines as weak).

Clearly, diplomatic restraint is not a hallmark of Hong Kong’s approach. One cannot help but reflect back on Taiwan’s outsized outrage against the Philippines regarding the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard troops. BEFORE the Philippines or Taiwan had investigated the incident.

Another Disturbing Time

This Chinese attitude of superior morality, superiority of act and perspective, reminds me of the United States in the 1960’s when many whites claimed superiority over other races, and government laws supported the view. When white racial stereotypes, bigotry and laws were challenged in the 1960’s, the white response in some parts of the country was anger. Much like the Chinese who relentlessly voice a loud disgust, disdain and condemnation of Philippine’s acts.

It was an ugly time in the U.S.

Blacks who did not behave were punished, sometimes in the courts, sometimes vigilante style. There was only one race that determined what was correct. It was white. Blacks were instructed to:

  • Drink from the black drinking fountains.
  • Visit the black bathrooms.
  • Sit in the back of the bus.
  • Stay out of our white schools.

Heroes emerged from the fracas, from the push-back by black Americans. Perhaps the two most notable were Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks (cover photo).

Rosa Parks changed the world the day that she decided she deserved to sit in the front of the bus, no matter what happened.

Is China Racist?

Clearly there is an ugliness to what is going on in the seas between China and her neighbors.

There is an edginess, a hostility to Chinese behavior that is disturbing. The Taiwan incident. The Hong Kong incident. The conflict over islands. China demands. Demands. Demands. Insults, condemns, expresses outrage and demands.


Clearly, the Philippines is not behaving the way China wants.

Should the Philippines “behave”?

I have written elsewhere, and cited literature, that China’s history is steeped in disdain for the darker natives who inhabit lands across the seas. This is an aspect of her “Middle Earth” perspective, being the center of all that is right and important about the world.

Well, it is unnecessary here to make that kind of distasteful observation, of racism. I know too many Chinese in the United States who are educated and intelligent and not at all racist. And I know that the Chinese in the U.S. were sorely discriminated against in the 1800’s when the railroads were built substantially with Chinese sweat labor. So it cuts both ways.

So I won’t lift the heavy finger of racism here. The Chinese thuggery very likely emanates from its military cadre. They certainly issue the most racially tinged threats. And perhaps it is merely their authoritarian bent that needs to be brought into a better diplomatic line by Chinese leaders.

So perhaps it is enough to say that China – and Hong Kong – and Taiwan – display a similar striking disregard for the independence and sovereignty of neighbor states, and particularly of the Philippines.

Where is the diplomatic restraint that gives credit to the Philippines for wanting to right its wrongs, for wanting to punish those who acted illegally or rashly in the bus incident? Or credits the Philippines for being forthright and candid with her investigation. Where is the respect for the Philippines as a separate, independent, sovereign state?

The current mantra from Hong Kong is “an apology is not enough.” It is the tenor of an adult lecturing a child.

Such offensive demands.

Why Mayor Estrada Is Wrong

Mayor Estrada’s goals are honorable:

  • Get this problem behind us.
  • Build a harmonious commercial, tourism and OFW relationship with neighbor Hong Kong.
  • Protect Filipino workers in Hong Kong.

There are pragmatic reasons why it is wrong:

  • It establishes a precedence of guilt for future government acts that, through the acts of criminal or unstable minds, end up tragically.
  • It risks encouraging Chinese adventurism by showing the Philippines as weak.
  • It undermines the President’s firm stance which protects the sovereignty of the Philippines in its broader resistance against Chinese territorial expansion. (It is akin to VP Binay’s going outside the chain of command to try to strike a peace agreement in Zamboaga.)

I’m inclined not to read political manipulations into the Mayor’s acts. I believe he wants a cure, plain and simple.

But here’s my real objection.

Mayor Estrada would have the Philippines move to the back of the bus. As if we are to know our superiors, and respect their demands.


It is up to China – and Hong Kong – and Taiwan – to respect Philippine good faith, good intent, and straight dealing. It is up to the Chinese to grant the Philippines the right to exist as a self-determined state of laws and good will.

The appropriate neutral ground for a dispute is an international arbiter. Resolution of the dispute cannot come from Hong Kong over the sovereign rights of the Philippine state to manage her own affairs.

President Aquino’s insistence on a firm, law-based approach is offensive to the Chinese. As was Rosa Park’s insistence that she be allowed to sit in the front of the bus, to whites.

Indeed, standing on principle presents risks. The Philippines risks the well-being of Filipino workers in Hong Kong, innocents caught up in the unrestrained emotions of the Chinese. In the mob reaction fueled by a Chinese press that is almost as obnoxious as her military leaders. And the Philippines risks another tear in the relationship between China and the Philippines.

But what does it say to Asia – indeed, to the world – if the Philippines moves to the back of the bus, as instructed by China?

As it was in 1963, so it is in 2013, exactly fifty years later. It is the principle that matters.

It is important that China learn that all states stand equal, one to the other. It would be even better if China could somehow comprehend that her leadership in Asia can best come by DEFENDING her neighbors’ sovereign rights and territorial claims, not attacking them.

Short of that kind of renewed insight, the Philippines must do what the Philippines must do. In a respectful world filled with independent and earnest sovereign states, the Philippines determines where she sits.

Not China.

309 Responses to “Why Mayor Estrada Is Wrong on Hong Kong”
  1. manuel buencamino says:

    The rabble rousers are Hongkong politicians who epitomize that city’s image as the global central of rude shopkeepers.

    • Joe America says:

      Ahahaha, they are rude, aren’t they. I couldn’t figure out what I had done to earn their scorn, just shopping for jewelry for my wife.

      I did not remember that being the case in my several prior visits, though. Well, one was “R&R” from Viet Nam, so I was undoubtedly plastered. But I think the Chinese have re-educated everyone since they took over. So most snarl, and fewer speak English.

  2. Omar says:

    A very enlightening article. I am really convinced that you have a better understanding and kinder perspective of this beautiful country than most Filipinos. If only more of my kababayans would share your views and support leaders who are honest and have only the best intentions for this country, I’m sure that real and sustain progress will be easy to achieve. Mabuhay ka Joe America!

    • Joe America says:

      I’m glad you appreciated the blog. To be fair, I do spend more time studying and thinking about things than most, because of the sharply different culture, plus I learn a lot by doing this. I share your hope for honest and good-working leaders, and think the move is in that direction thanks to President Aquino. Best to you, too, Omar.

  3. Tokwa says:

    IMHO the main problem is that the government almost didn’t do anything to resolve the said incident, I’m not sure if they hope that it will just be forgotten.

    The president even pledge that there will be accountability regarding the incident, but after 3 years nothing happened. There is even a list of recommended administrative or criminal charges for the other individuals and organizations.

    Too bad that after 3 years the incident is still not laughable, contrary to what Noynoy said 3 years ago.

    • Joe America says:

      You raise a very important point. The Philippine investigation identified 15 officials who were negligent or thought poorly and recommended that they be punished. It would be important to identify the 15 and find out what has actually happened. I know one guy was made to resign. It may be that the “sweeping of things under the carpet”, which is pretty standard in the Philippines, is what is driving a large part of Hong Kong’s ire. I hope Rappler or the PCIJ does some digging on that.

      Which leads me to ask, what exactly is the status of ampatuan, and what is the status of the Taiwan fisherman’s murder? Are these being swept under the carpet of neglect, too? What takes so LONNNNGGGGGGGGG hereabouts?

      This is one area where Hong Kong may have a legitimate grievance.

      • pussyfooter says:

        Off the top of my head, Ampatuan is still going through the motions called “rule of law” (always the paramount consideration in these parts donchaknow, like “due process”) i.e. I think they’re still processing petitions for bail; I vaguely recall hearing that they’re not yet done arraigning all 4 bajillion accused (little wonder). Odds are, court hearings on this case are 1-3 months apart, no doubt because the court is juggling it with like 600 other criminal cases.

        Taiwan fisherman I seem to recall we Pinoys unearthed some embarrassing footage of us not complying with the rules of engagement. We may or may not have made an official apologetic gesture as a result. Yeah, neglect is not improbable.

        Sorry for the lack of research. Hehe. Hope that gives you some idea anyway. 🙂

    • jonvchan says:

      Tokwa is chekwa

  4. Christy A. says:

    Ah! I can’t stand Estrada. The stupidest president we ever got. I remember in grade 1 (1998-1999), kids and adults alike in Cebu always tell each other Erap jokes (like how Americans see Bush). And I thought they had locked up this guy already. Sigh. Now, his stupidity is at it again, and I don’t know why the media is even giving him air time to do one more memorable dumb scene to make the rest of the filipino public really mindless, lousy and poor at discerning.

    He, his son and the rest of the dumb ilk of Malacanang should be rid of and be put away in the dustbin of our history. I applaud Aquino’s stance on this one when this happened. And to the HK public – go screw yourselves.

    I really appreciate your defense for our president. He is the only guy so far, even doing the job better than the other slobs before him.

    • Joe America says:

      His act does smack of stand-up comedy. I can’t decide if he has become a likable father figure or a buffoon, and I don’t spend too much time thinking about it, frankly.

      My defense of President Aquino looks at the big picture progress in the Philippine, and has tolerance for personality, humanity, and the fact that he has a damn hard job that is bound to rile critics no matter what he does. The tendency here in the Philippines is to “get small on specific issues” and carp and lose sight of the whole of his work.

    • Jill says:

      I am a permanent resident in HK (chinoy), and I just want this resolved. I understand what Pnoy has done what he has done. So whatever the consequences are we will live with it.

      But, I think I need to set the record straight:
      – an overwhelming majority of the HK people do not agree with the crazy ideas of the legislators and of the chief executive. In the same way that the HK govt is not the Hk people. The hk people do not even like the chief executive that they didn’t elect in the first place! He was ‘chosen’ by Beijing for hk.
      – hk people share the same values as us, my best friends are hk Chinese and they are lovely people. Let’s not generalize and say – the hk people are cold, or screw the hk public – that just reeks of the same racism and ignorance we accuse hk of.
      – majority of the hk people, including all the victim’s families do not blame Filipinos at all, they blame our government, you’ll be surprised that majority of them can make that distinction. In fact getting rid of Filipino helpers as a strategy isn’t boding well with the general hk public (although I agree it’s likely because they don’t want to be inconvenienced and lose their maids- anyway that’s a separate matter completely)
      – hk people are relatively peaceful and are just not good at confrontation. So those who are afraid of coming to hk for fear of discrimination, trust me if there is, it’s very subtle (ie they’re probably thinking of a racist remark in their heads, but they won’t tell you to your face). In the past week I’ve been asked by the sales lady where I come from, and I say I’ve lived in Hk for a while now and tell them I was born in the Philippines and I am half-Filipino. Ieven with that piece of info, I have never been treated badly, EVER by any HK person. Even during the bus hostage incident, no one has come up the street to punch a Pinoy (likely coz that’s assault, and it’s a serious crime of around 10 yrs imprisonment, thank god the hk justice system works! No one in their right mind would think it worth to punch a Pinoy no matter how much they may allegedly “hate” us).

      I think we need to distinguish that the situation is largely political more than anything else. And of course there are stupid, ignorant, racist people in hK. But that’s like everywhere, including the philippines. And yes there is abuse of maids in hk, but is a completely separate issue from this, and there is a working judicial process for that under the hk courts.

      Look, I’m not siding with hk people here, but before we start giving our “opinions” about this matter, make sure you get your facts straight…

      • pussyfooter says:

        Well I for one appreciate your input on this. Thanks so much for your unique perspective. And I for one also would not deny that what happened to the HK tourists here was a horrific event for which the culprits–those directly responsible and those who are letting them get away with it–should be held liable.

      • Ian Torres says:

        Jill, thank you so much for sharing this to us. I have an uncle and aunt who live in Hong Kong. Both people are very dear to me. And so far they have never brought up any issues on this. And it’s obvious that they are not bringing it up not to hide it, but rather it’s not really an issue to them and their native Hong Kong friends. It really is tiring when the government stops understanding its own people and are causing such needless trouble. I still weep for the lives lost in that incident; I weep that the victims went to so much trouble to find a good time in our country, and ended up having their lives taken by a selfish bastard. I still feel the tragedy as I write this. But I do not believe what the Hong Kong officials are demanding will make things better; they’ll just spread the needless hate with this. I hope that people on our side do not overreact as well.

  5. Bam says:

    I am enlightened by this article.

  6. M. Geronimo says:

    The handling of the crisis was a circus conducted by ringmasters who got their training watching
    Filipino soap operas. They all envisioned taking the credit but when the bubble burst no one wanted to take the blame. However, What china is demanding reeks of extortion akin to a loan shark collecting a pound for penny which could only be repaid if Kris Aquino marries into Chinese royalty.
    Pnoy’s sober decision to draw a line in the sand not acceding to china’s bullying no matter how
    incompetent the hostage crisis was resolved speak volumes of his grit and desire to always do
    what he believes is just and what is right for his bosing…the Filipinos.


  7. ikalwewe says:

    China has territorial disputes with many countries. It’s heavy handedness is being felt throughout the region. I have decided that, while I’d like to visit my friend in Nanjing, I’d rather not go and take my husband there. Why spend money in a country where we, a Filipino-Japanese couple (“dogs?!”), are not welcome? For some reasons, China seems to be jealous of island nations. 1 Billion people and not enough fish? I think we should set the line and say, OK, this is the line. Cross it and we’ll shoot!Savage, yes, but think of someone entering your house without consent. It’s like sovereign rape. Estrada, I think, is just being ma-epal. (I cannot figure out the English word for this one!) He wants some pogi points. He wants the credit (vote?) for keeping many Filipinos employed in HK/China. Fine. I don’t like the inefficient way they handled the hostage taking. Lives were lost. But is China issuing a formal apology for a Filipino’s death recently? Are we telling them what to do? They can’t start dictating how we should act. If they have a problem with it, then yes take it to an international arbiter or something – use the right avenues- instead of using the OFWs to pay for one man’s crime. It’s international blackmail!! This is the problem when citizens are collective, when they are prodded to take actions they seem to do so without thinking and on a massive scale. Our officials should start thinking of plan B, how to help the OFWs should they be banned from China or HK. For sure they can go elsewhere, which makes up the rest of the world.

    • Joe America says:

      I visited Hong Kong earlier this year, and it was a cold place. Not weatherwise. From immigration to the shopkeepers to the lady who chased my wife and kid off a yellow duck because she wanted HER picture taken there. A Japanese/Filipina couple in China? Yeouch.

      “pogi points” ahahahaha. Yes, perhaps.

      Yes, it is blackmail, hostage taking, isn’t it? To use innocent working Filipinos as pawns to make a political point? Scurrilous is the word that comes to mind. Unkind for sure. I lost all respect for Taiwan when they did that and I suspect that’s what is coming down the pike from Hong Kong. “Sanctions”, I’d interject swear words about here, but this is a family blog . . ..

    • It is international blackmail. I still can’t grasp why many Filipinos still want our president to issue an official apology.

      • Joe America says:

        I’m guessing that they feel legitimate shame that the rescue was so badly handled. Or they think the hassle to OFW’s is too harmful. Just mutter a few words of apology and let’s get past this . . .

        My problem with that is that apology encourages this unkind, disrespectful beast called Hong Kong, and its bigger beast, China. The whole purpose of the howling seems to me to be to subjugate the Philippines. And intimidate neighbors. It is rather the way the NPA works, now that I think about it. Same values at work . . .

    • bisugu23 says:

      That is true who are they even their bragging about their economy and military they mean to say they are going to invade the world,no they are just bluffing ,at this time you cannot just invade a country or going to war without the knowledge and approval of the united nation or other highest organization,yes their economy accelerated so fast but what are they doing on environment go to china you can’t even see your finger because of pollution in the air many Chinese already get sick due to respiratory illnesses,what happened in the incident of Taiwanese fishermen they were caught fishing inside the Philippine territory and they provoked the Philippine coast guard.

    • bisugu23 says:

      what a shame a huge country and yet want to get more space from small country around them wow that’s what they call GREED.

  8. You know what’s ironic, I see many people in social media agreeing to the demands of our president making a formal apology. In the comments section in this article, it seems some reasonable Hong Kong residents do not agree in demanding President Aquino’s apology.


    • Joe America says:

      I think these lawmakers are the people living in a bubble of self-importance (your second coment link). How many ways can Hong Kong damage Hong Kong in the name of some perverted sense of justice? Hong Kong used to be synonymous with modern and free-thinking, but it is well on the way to becoming reactionary and a place to avoid in favor of broad-minded, kinder states.

  9. This opinion piece from the South China Morning Post also makes valid points.


  10. Lettuce8383tangaro says:

    In June 18,2011, the City Digest of the SCMP had reported that a Filipino maid was killed when she was hit by a tour bus in Kowloon while taking a six year-old boy to school. PNoy through the DFA should adamantly demand for an APOLOGY FROM THE CHINESE PRESIDENT for her death. The DFA should, in no certain terms, be given a report by the chinese authorities on what happened to the bus driver, was he caught and charged with reckless driving, did the family receive some compensation.

    Tit for tat, an eye for an eye. Whatever the Hongkong authorities are demanding from us with regards to the hostage incident, we should also issue the same demand from them – apology, punishment to the offenders and compensation, PNoy should also issue those demands for the death of this Filipino maid. If we the people are being pushed against the wall by the chinese, let us pushed them also against the wall

    • Joe America says:

      Very good, Lettuce. I was not aware of that incident, and you are right. Tit for tat it should be. Sanctions come to mind. No more goods from China allowed in the Philippines. Bring the Hong Kong OFW’s home. Put them to work manufacturing cheap toys and other junk that China sells here. If we pay 5P more, call it a patriot’s tax.

  11. nelson uy says:

    Sometimes, we have to face reality. We must not always stick to our ego. We must do what is best for our country. The incident happened here in the Philippines. So, we must be man enough to face the consequence. It is our duty to protect the tourist since day one that they entered our country till the day they left our country. This is the foremost unwritten policy of any country. We are cowards if we will not address the situation as well as immatures in exercising duties and responsibilities. We won’t apologize because we want to abscond with our liabilities. This is realities. If we find some opportunities to gain we will always fight for it but in times that we are supposed to pay remunerations, we always find reasons to ignore our liabilities. We must be mature enough to settle this matter. No longer the showing of machoness but to face the consequences of our wrong, of the wrong of our constituents. I hope the president will be enlightened and face the reality and to decide for the good of our people especially our ofws in their countries and our people who want to go their as tourist. Huwag na sana madamay pa ang ibang walang sala.

    • Joe America says:

      Nelson, you offer a strong advocacy for apology, and given the way the bus scene played out, that may be what would lay the matter to rest. It would be easier for me to go down that route if the three Chinas (mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan) were more diplomatic in their tone. More respectful toward the Philippines. I have a hard time bowing to that kind of belligerent, “looking down the nose”, attitude.

      • Who-one says:

        Agree 100%. I would probably consider an official apology if only China is not what she is…

      • Boomer says:

        What can you expect from
        Nelson UY? UY is a Chinese family name in the Philippines! Chinese are like Jews. They are always loyal to there heritage! Hope you are not a Jew Joe. Hehehe

    • Henry A.S. Que says:

      You are missing the point Mr. Uy. First, the issue has gone beyond the incident. Mainland China and its satellites are using all venues to humiliate the Philippines for filing the arbitration case. They would not be picking on the Philippines during the golden age of Philippine-China relations during the time of former President Gloria Arroyo. Second, OFWs should not be the basis for Philippine foreign policy. It is a vulnerability which other countries take advantage of. Look at what is happening in the Middle East. You should wake up to the reality that this situation is one of force majeure. To expect the Philippine police force to be as efficient as LAPD or NYPM would have been pure wishful thinking.

      • pussyfooter says:

        Agree with China using HK on this one. (Though my basis is pure speculation, as Mr. Que’s might not be.) Why kick up all this fuss 3 years later? A delayed reaction for the actual event, but very timely for the Spratlys issue.

        I also believe Erap is just milking this for “pogi points”. He’s not toeing the Presidential line and that may mean something. Not that Erap presumably has a particularly good grasp of international realpolitik. Domestic, though, he probably knows it better than the back of his hand.

        • pussyfooter says:

          Oops, to add: All the more reason for us NOT to give in to the official HK demand for apologies or whatever other kowtowing they ask for. Because we know there’s something else at stake, and for heaven’s sake, Pilinas, keep a sense of dignity about you.

  12. bebot says:

    China is doing its best to manipulate whatever tricky situations the Philippines is in relations with the 3 China, to extract blood from Filipino people, so to speak. The intimidation and harassment from Hongkong which regards to hostage incident is indeed political in nature, like a punishment to the government for bringing our territorial dispute to international tribunal with the primary goal of making PNoy backtrack on its lodging of legal complaints. If the Philippines is successful in the international tribunal, China would suffer gargantuan political humiliation and economic impediments. The neighbouring countries like Japan and Vietnam with whom China has also territorial disputes would follow Philippines in filing legal complaints to international court of justice.

    Would Mr Nelson Uy agree for PNoy to apologize for the hostage incident if his wife has died from being hit by a tour bus in Hongkong ( just a scenario, to make a point). Would not he ask Hongkong to apologize, punish the driver and pay compensation for his wife’s deat? .Would he not ask PNoy to demand and settle those issues? How would he feel if Hongkong doesn’t comply to his desires/ demands? I’m pretty sure PNoy would help you out of being you a Filipino for justice not because of political reasons. China is using in every way the eight dead Hongkong people to extricate political gains.

  13. Morenong_mIke says:

    I would like to add my two cents here. The situation here was due to one lone gunman, angry and mislead by his beliefs. To mirror this incident we have an alleged terrorist attack in Xiamen Square that cost us Filipinos a Doctor travelling there as a tourist along with other people. They sent us their sympathy yet did they send their apologies for not keeping the country safe? Just a piece of my mind

    • Jumong says:

      It is good you brought this up brother Mike, as what happen to Tiananmen Square recently where Filipino tourist were killed is somehow with some similarities to wit

  14. Walter Ray Choi says:

    Estrada’s goals are “honourable”?

  15. Marc says:

    What is scary is China is using the same tactic as Hitler when he invaded Austria siting that some of the Phillipine territories where theirs to begin with. When it comes to the hostage fiasco , bad/stupid things happen and is unavoidable. Why was not China sorry when Philippine tourists (friend of my mom) were stabbed to death by a psychological deranged citizen. We should impose the same rules on their citizens who come here. We should hunt down all illegal Chinese who put up businesses here and deport them, not only do they compete with us they allso deal with illegal practices (drugs/feed the corruption by paying off politicians/ being contact men when smmugling products from china). I do not hate their citizens as I am 1/4 Chinese myself, I hate the mentality of their leaders, threats will not help solve the problems but aggrivate the existing ones. I guess it cannot be helped as they came from a militaristic society where beatig ones chest was a way of life.

  16. betsy says:

    Thank you for the in-depth explanation..i know the president is serious,yet most often,the officials under him,make it soooo long to resolve… Other than that ,is politics..those seeking higher positions,dont mind consequences of their actions just to gain political mileage,like the case of VP Binay and Estrada.By the way,Im just an hour away where Ampatuan massacre happened..

  17. Tim Decano says:

    Reblogged this on Speck No Evil and commented:

  18. Reblogged this on The World According to Life and commented:

  19. ed says:

    This article is too biased. It wants to be objective, but it’s not.

  20. odilio says:

    The Chinese attitude towards international laws reminds me of Japan withdrawing from the league of Nation, though they have already proven themselves on both economy and military might they still feel insecure and wants to show the world that they can do whatever they want. (Asia for the Asians)

  21. A government apology as well as implementation of sanctions will not bring the victims’ lives back, nor will it improve the Philippines’ process on handling similar incidents to come. But a leader’s firm decision to keep the country’s integrity will keep the Filipino’s respect to their neighboring countries as well as themselves. I choose this outcome more than tolerating such display of disturbing arrogance. But life is like that, the weaker gets beaten up most.

  22. stitch says:

    Reblogged this on bleary and commented:
    I was planning to write about the recent decision by Hong Kong to require visas for Filipinos who are planning to enter the country. Then I ran across Joe America’s blog, which comprehensively discusses the things I was going to talk about. It’s very good, and so I’m sharing this with you guys.

    Read on!

  23. I have been ranting.. giving out tirades against the Hong Kong government but this article definitely put things into perspective. Thank you for the enlightenment.

  24. Jso says:

    That HK would likely not apologize if the tables were turned is a strong argument. In fact, when the Filipino doctor was killed in Beijing, China issued a statement not to apologize, but to merely express “regret” – just as Pnoy did. This means that with respect to owning up to mistakes, they’re no better than us. In the same token, it also means that we are no better than them. Is that acceptable to us Filipinos? That despite our Christian heritage, our standard of humility is no different from that of atheist communists?

  25. Diva Le Plume says:

    I have a clearer and better perspective now about this issue thanks to the writer and thanks to the different comments and points of view.

  26. Kiko L says:

    I just got back from Hong Kong barely a week ago. I was there for a business expo wherein China factories showcase their manufacturing capacities to businesses worldwide. As I visited the fashion and textiles section wherein they are selling some really nice beach hats, I learned that design and material come from the Philippines. I guess Filipino businessmen missed this opportunity but this is another topic. We also met some Chinese agents in which we are now trying to strike up a deal. I generally find Chinese people as most misunderstood because we expect them to behave the way we do. Some are nice, you just have to bring it out of them. I actually did not feel any animosity, nor might have felt anything, nor might be aware of, on the sanctions. It’s sad that harmonious relationship of ASEAN countries are now compromised because of China’s agenda using the hostage incident as.way to bully us more.

  27. blueD says:

    When I first saw your article, what was running in my mind was that I was going to read yet another blog article that never got the real point why HK wanted the Philippines to apologize.

    The articles I’ve read so far, not to mention the reactions from the netizens, is honestly enough to make you cringe. It made me question the intelligence of some of our brothers and sisters here in the Philippines.

    After reading your article, I will first like to point out that I apologize for even thinking that I would read another mindless input. Instead, your points make a lot of sense. Specifically the part where you mentioned that this was in a way a stand for Philippines against the encroaching efforts of China. Indeed THAT major point has slipped my mind with regards to it’s connection to this incident.

    If this was indeed what the Philippine government is thinking, then perhaps there IS some hope for the country. You see, I get the impression that this administration thinks of nothing more than their KKK (kapatid, kamag-anak, kabigan, or siblings, relatives and friends for those who can’t read Tagalog). If your stand / idea for our reaction is spot on, then things might not be as bleak as I believe.

    Then, reading the fact that most HK citizens do not agree with the sanctions (as the post made by Jill and article linked by Adrian Cuenca) got me thinking as well.

    So right now, I came in with the stand that “what’s point not apologizing and just get it over it”… now reading this article made me rethink the whole situation. I just hope this doesn’t get any bigger than necessary o.O

    • blueD says:

      PS: most blog entries and articles I’ve by most Filipinos took the “racial” route… with their main ideas revolving around all Chinese being drug pushers and that they really deserved to die like this, that Chinese were all thieves “stealing” businesses in the Philippines from Filipinos and something as mindless as that… just to give an idea what were those “mindless.articles” that I have encountered

    • harry says:

      It would be akward and it would send the message that we are weak if the president apologizes now. But on the other hand if the president apologize before it was demanded of him, it would have made him the bigger man. And it would not lead to this. 3 years has past, typical filipino judicial system. Just make the people forget all about it. Like the case of ampatuan, zte case, gloria election fraud, hello garci, cj corona, and the other cases they have succesfully made me forget. Soon napoles

      • blueD says:

        i agree.. its really too bad the accepted tactic here… to just forget things as if nothing happened =(

        agree also that because of the threats of sanctions from HK, this would make the Philippines look weak =( maybe you’re right. if this was done right off the bat, it might have turned into a different and possibly better direction. But now… we wont exactly know… and I wonder what could be a good way to diffuse this situation =/

  28. ziim says:

    Great article.

    I’d like to ask, I just hope you do have information on this.

    What exactly are the demands of the victim’s families?
    Are they different from what the HK government are demanding?

    if yes, then we would be able to see (and was already written about) that it is just truly China’s politics pushing it on the Philippines.

    Looking forward to your reply!

  29. harry says:

    maybe everybody saw what happened during that day on tv only. And maybe the hong kong govt saw some pictures circulating on the net that made them more furious like the picture of our president smiling. But if u saw what i saw, surely you will be more. disgusted. it took city officials hours to arrive. And when they arrived Manila mayor and police officials went directly to the nearby chinese retaurant to eat first. not even planning how to end the sittation. Apparently they could not think with an empty stomach. Police men and police women taking turns in taking pictures and some as groups with the bus as their back ground.

    • george says:

      It was an absolute circus that day and dealt with such incompetence. I cringed on behalf of the Filipino as I watched the local coverage. To make matters worse it went live internationally…how stupid.
      A gracious and timely apology would have settled this to ease subsequent formalities with the families directly.
      3 years of ‘sweeping under the carpet’ is the crux of problem, leading to the situation today…an unhealthy one at that!
      The apology is one thing but the main point here is accountability….its simple. No nerd to read between the lines.
      Yes, there may be racism, there may well be power play, etc. Every country suffers a dose.
      The tragedy could have been peacefully resolved and the story archived for 2 years now.
      But for crying out loud…3years!!

      • reanpaulgotinga@yahoo.com says:

        agree…phil govt should have apologised straight away. there was ABSOLUTELY mishandling and incompetence on their part..asking for apology doesn’t equate to being weak…it was the right thing to do, people died regardless of what their race was. they have been waiting long enough, they’ve been pushed beyond the bounds of their patience…three years and still nothing was happening. lets not promote twisted patriotism here…ITS the RIGHT THING to do.

  30. Kevin says:

    wow… what a crap article.

  31. pidyakisco says:

    Good stand. Good point. Excellent understanding and well said. Filipinos are not means to an end. Let China and HK figure out how they can best feed their colonial aspirations. Yes, Aquino’s move was risky but was undeniably courageous – Philippines must man up. Philippines is not bound to bow down to any countries.

  32. Jamie says:

    At first I thought P-Noy couldn’t find it in him to issue a public apology to Hong Kong but after reading your arguments, maybe he was right for taking that stand. What bothers me though is the thought of this tension between China and the Philippines going too far. The possibility of a war is not too far fetched considering the Philippines also has territorial dispute with China. Plus, we pretty much pissed off both HK and Taiwan so that does not help either. Can you imagine what it would be like to be up against the fierce tiger that is China? Sure, the President was just standing up for us but do we actually have what it takes to walk the ‘walk’? Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself but this is something I seriously think about often.

  33. Guglielmino says:

    I love the neutrality of your phrases, full of logic and rational indeed. However I still believe that an official apology should have been made by the philippine government, right after the incident, without waiting that China or the internationaly community demand for it.

    Philippine diplomacy should have prevailed, regardless of how China behaves or is behaving. We are a full democracy (or atleast in paper we are) and China is not!

  34. Mari says:

    Long article, but VERY worthy to read. Joe hit every aspect of Philippines vs China – Hongkong – Taiwan issues, darn so right “It is important that China learn that all states stand equal, one to the other. It would be even better if China could somehow comprehend that her leadership in Asia can best come by DEFENDING her neighbors’ sovereign rights and territorial claims, not attacking them. Short of that kind of renewed insight, the Philippines must do what the Philippines must do. In a respectful world filled with independent and earnest sovereign states, the Philippines determines where she sits.”

  35. GLAD OZ says:

    Very good article and blog, very enlightening. In good faith Philippines had already done its bit for the hostage incident. Using this after 3 years is really a desperate effort and bullying is the keyword here. Filipinos should support the stand of their president on this one – bottomline, China is a bully and Philippines/Filipinos should stand firm and protect its sovereignty.

  36. Coq888 says:

    China is a “bully” … She’s trying “bully” her neighbors just because she’s “big as a beast”… And it is just right that the philippines stands firm to it’s decision of not apologizing to Hk.

    And Erap? Oh well! What does he know about things!?! I’ve never been a a fan to this man and his sons! They’re like the stupidest people to ever enter politics!

  37. jc says:

    excellent points.. give the chinese your hand.. next time they’ll demand for your arm..

    the chinese really have that middle earth syndrome..a kind of superiority complex where they feel that the world revolve around theirs..

  38. Jayson says:

    HK certainly has double standards. They never apologized for this:

    MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino family ended up spending their four-day vacation in Hongkong in a hospital after an unknown attacker splashed them with acid, a television report said.

    In a report aired over Q’s Balitanghali, the Asistio family recounted that they were walking around the streets of Hong Kong at around 8 p.m. on Monday looking for a place to eat when someone threw a plastic bag at them.

    Source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/164782/pinoyabroad/acid-attack-ruins-hk-holiday-of-pinoy-family.

  39. bebotI says:

    It’s like David and Goliath stance. PNoy has taken courageous actions on the insults, harassment and intimidation by China hurled against the Philippines, wherein his weapon is the filing of legal complaints to the ICJ on China’s illegal occupation of Spratley.

  40. Jayson says:

    Since HK is choosing to blame the entire country for the transgressions of an individual and the admittedly bungled police response, then perhaps we should also make the same demands when they basically did the same thing to the Philippines in 2009 with the acid attacks on Filipino tourists in HK.

  41. Unspooling says:

    This is well-written and I agree. This is a matter of principle, and China has really got to stop being such a bully, just because it “can.”

    (I did however get quite distracted by your misuse of “diffuse.” It should have been “defuse.)

  42. Jayson says:

    According to data from OWWA, since 2001, an estimated 1,600 OFWs have died in HK from various work-related “incidents”. HK should apologise for that!

    • Boomer says:

      The Chinese simply do not respect Filipinos period. Even in the Philippines, there are a lot of wealthy Filipino Chinese businessmen who doesn’t respect non Filipino Chinese. Most of them became rich because of shrewd business practices just like the Jews. The president of the Philippines himself is Filipino Chinese, so we need to watch him closely. During cold war, the Soviets and the Americans played disinformation game in espionage. So do not beleive right away in everything what you have read here including my post. Gather facts, investigate, investigate and really investigate.

      I agree on what Joe has written. It is time for the Filipinos to not only sit in front of the bus, but drive the bus and move to the direction we want to go. Since the birth of the Philippines as a country we have been rob and raped so much by other countries, yeah we said a lot of things about this, but we really didn’t do anything. Now I think is the time to show the Honkies and the world that they can steal our money and natural resources but not our respect!

    • Boomer says:

      Im sure there is more than 1600. Consider the ones who are afraid to report!

  43. roxanne Marasigan says:

    so much too much for china they Philippines was navigated Pi in business they owned the center of business at
    DIVISORIA AND BAClaran , so much they become RICH bECAUSE Of The OIL IN Spratly is there anything we can do with that, …. so much too much….

  44. Rodrigo says:

    Very much out of perspective article. As a Filipino living abroad for years, I can say that this is about pride and culture. Like what Mr. Uy said before, these are unspoken rules. Ethics you need to follow and an apology should be addressed to HK.

  45. Louise says:

    I don’t agree apologizing, there is nothing to apologized to in the first place. ALL tourists should know that whenever they are in another country- there is always a risk to take, their lives could be compromised, their life would surely change afterwards after the trip, whether its a good experience or worst even. ALL tourist goes to a certain place to ” adventure” and to see whats on the other side, however bear in mind that hazards will be a part and parcel of the ” adventure”. Philippines Government NEVER planned this incident that resulted to the death of their citizen, so Its their citizens’s risk, anyway I believe there was even an advisory years back about “Philippines travel warning”, don’t tell me these tourist don’t know what they are getting into???

    • reanpaulgotinga@yahoo.com says:

      are you serious, you know our govt made a huge blunder by how they poorly and incompetently managed this incident. PEOPLE DIED because of this incompetence. Apology is but proper

  46. Jso says:

    We have lost sight of the most basic issue here. Our guys screwed up and the whole world saw it on tv but we refuse to apologize. This long article says that it is not that simple. I still don’t buy it.

  47. Mark says:

    I’m quite confused though, why is it the PH government apologizes to Taiwan for the alledged
    killing of one of their fishermen who is clearly encroaching our territorial water and not apologize to Hong Kong for the killing of their nationals?

  48. reyruiz says:

    To Rodrigo, i beg to disagree Sir.
    Joe has nailed it on many points and laid out a very good insight on the matter.
    Bowing down to these people who have no respect for others would be a grave mistake. We cannot be bullied and tied down by their arrogance. If it is a matter of pride and culture, then they should follow their great philosophers who cultivate a more kinder approach to society.

  49. Gen says:

    Very good article. I support Pnoy’s resolve not to apologize to HK. It’s time we show them (HK leaders) we can’t be pushed around just like that. Respect begets respect. HK officials should show first that they deserve the apology. But with bigger political issues looming in the horizon, I guess it’s too late or perhaps no room for that.

  50. Mar Ignacio says:

    “Small at specific issues” – unfortunately, this seems to be in the DNA of 90% of Filipinos. PNoy is the most calculating president since Marcos, the comparison ends there though. I don’t mind applying for a visa to HK, that is if I still would want to go there. Hats off to you, JoAm!

  51. Alvin says:

    I think Filipinos who want the Philippine government to just apologize and get this over with are looking at this issue with a short-term view. Pres Aquino is looking at this with a longer-term view, the way a leader should. We’ve been buried in too much crap because of the short-sightedness of our officials for so long … we should not be afraid to take the more difficult path towards progress and it starts with a change in mindset.

    • Whatever Aquino is looking at, he is definitely not a practitioner of looking at anything in the long term. His short sightedness, vindictive rule has been the bane of the country.

      Admitting guilt and responsibility are things he will never do. He will blame it someone else, lie, or totally ignore it, rather than admit it was his fault. The hostage crisis, DAP are cases in point

      He bungled the situation, apoligize for it. It’s not sitting at the back of the bus, it’s owning up.

      • homerspirit says:

        True! Jojo! So true!

        • leo felizardo says:

          no, it’s standing up for what you believe is right. it’s standing up to a bully

          • db says:

            True! leo! So true!

          • Scott says:

            very true Leo and if you back down to a bully once they will come back again and again

          • Kylielovey says:

            I strongly agree!

          • Raul M. Gonzales says:

            Am with you there, Leo Felizardo. It’s a matter of respect for our sovereignty also. … Yung mga galit kay Pangulo, hindi mo na mababago opinion ng mga yan, no matter what. … Joe America’s perspective is really something. He wrote what I had been struggling to piece together in my head for quite a time. Hats off ako.

          • vlady says:

            i agree with you leo….i think jojo here did not understand what he read….or refused to understand this article….

          • Raymond says:

            you guys have to understand that Hong Kong has an independent body from China… you call asking for apology bullying?? lets put it like this if your loved ones was kill and one of the main reason it happened because authorities handled the situation badly, would you not ask apology from the authorities involved or better yet have them removed from position? lives were lost and can never be given back… all they are asking is a simple apology… suck it up and own the fact that the government made a big mistake on handling the situation… simple as that….

          • Jw says:

            Raymond obviously did not read the article properly,
            “The Philippines could diffuse the anger by bowing to Hong Kong’s demands, but doing so would:
            suggest there was a wilful negligence rather than incompetence”
            Wilful negligence is very different from incompetence.

            It further specifies that the Philippines is in fact doing something to right the wrong
            “Where is the diplomatic restraint that gives credit to the Philippines for wanting to right its wrongs, for wanting to punish those who acted illegally or rashly in the bus incident? Or credits the Philippines for being forthright and candid with her investigation. Where is the respect for the Philippines as a separate, independent, sovereign state?”

            If saying sorry is only as simple as your given example and no longer implicates further issues, then by all means

            Obviously you did not read nor understand the article properly.
            Anyway, I wouldn’t expect much considering your bad grammar

        • baybee bolos says:

          are you a filipino?

      • Ben Reyes says:

        When do we ascribe an act of lawlessness as a fault of any President? People who have not supported the President will always remain critical of the President no matter what he does. Facts remain as stated above. Facts will also show that the President is doing a good job in managing the country’s affairs. At the rate he’s going, the President will be judged by the Filipino people as being on the side of the good and just leaders this nation had the pleasure of having.

        • homerspirit says:

          Nobody said this act of lawlessness is the act of the current president. And yes we should be critical of him, after all he is allowing out hard earned taxpayer’s money go to his very own pocket and the pockets of his cohorts. Corona impeachment incentives. At the rate he’s going he’s plunging us deeper into the pits of hell. Noynoy or his clan clearly only cares for the welfare and secure future of their bank accounts. They have trillions probably quadrillions in the bank anyway.

          • Jayson says:

            I beg to disagree Jojo

          • The act of lawlessness he was mentioning was that of the rogue police officer. The only thing keeping our government’s money from total corruption by the Congress is the good leadership of President Aquino commanding the DBM, COA and Ombudsman to ensure accountability. Compared to the Past presidents he is a breath of fresh air. Please see things a little more positively.

      • Kwasee says:

        I disagree, Jojo. Not as a statement of approval for P-noy, but as a stand against the bullying of China.

        • Kwasee says:

          My gosh, the issue isn’t even about Pnoy. As you, I am a critic of the administration yet when we are faced with a common adversary where do you stand? I choose to be a Filipino and I think you should too, by setting aside your crab mentality for an instant.

          • sirrell says:

            I agree with you kwasee

          • Kit says:

            Correct stand as one ! As Filipino against the bully which China! Its not about the president its about us about our country. Why cant you love your country Mr. jojo? why are you willing to surrender to the orders of a bully? with your stand you can go to China or hongkong and maybe you will be treated like a king there.No matter what I love my country and will defend it to my last breath!

          • Raul M. Gonzales says:

            Yes, out of line na naman mga PNoy-haters. Ang layo sa issue ng mga argumento. haha. It’s credit to him that he chooses the unpopular decision of not apologizing to a bully. … Well, as I’ve said, hindi na mababago opinyo nila about the President, no matter what.

      • meegikwang says:

        False! Jojo! So false!

        Unlike Jojo, Noynoy is aware of the so many corruptions committed by Gloria. And where is Gloria now? Contrary to what most people believe, she is still not in jail. She is taking her sweet time in Veterans Hospital until a Pandak-friendly president replaces Noynoy in 2016. Believe me, when that happens, she will miraculously become healthy and her first agenda after checking out of hospital is to get a luxurious spa in Tagaytay.

        Below are just some of the known corruptions done by Pandak:

        1. NBN ZTE Scandal
        2. Millions of bribe money to Congressmen and Governors (October 2007)
        3. Cheating in 2004 Elections (HELLO GARCI)
        4. Joc Joc Bolante Case (Fertilizer Scam, P728 Million)
        5. JOSE PIDAL Bank Account (Unexplained Wealth, P200 Million)
        6. NANI PEREZ Power Plant Deal ($2 Million)
        7. Use of Road User’s Tax for Campaigning
        8. Billion Peso Macapagal Boulevard (Overprice of P532 Million)
        9. Juetengate? (Illegal Numbers game kickbacks)
        10. Extra Judicial Killings
        11. Arroyo Moneys in Germany (Exposed by Senator Cayetano)
        12. General GARCIA and Other Military Men
        13. Billion Peso Poll Automation contract to(Mega Pacific) (P1.3 Billion)
        14. Northrail Project($503 Million)
        15. Maguindanao Results of 2007 Elections (ZUBIRI, BEDOL)
        16. NAIA-3
        17. Venable Contract (Norberto Gonzales)
        18. Swine Scam (Exposed by? Atty. Harry Roque
        19. GLORIA Arroyo son hidden assets in united states
        20. EURO GENERAL’S
        22. C-5 road controversy — Senator Manuel Villar
        23.P550-million worth of funds from the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA).
        24. P780-million LWUA funds-PROSPERO PICHAY
        25. BISHOPS’s SUV-Gloria Birthday gift
        26. Arroyo linked in P325M lotto intelligence fund
        27. Arroyo got P200M in kickbacks from govt projects-Zaldy Ampatuan
        28. P200.41 billion or $4.6 billion in Malampaya royalties from 2002 to May this year.
        30. 600, 000 metric tons of Rotten rice imported from India.Kishore Hemlani, an Indian trader allegedly close to Arroyo, reportedly bagged the P9.5 billion contract for the rice importation.
        31. DATO ARROYO wife bought the condo unit for $570, 000, 70-square-meter one-bedroom, one bathroom unit (Unit No. 533) at the luxury high-rise, full-service Gramercy Towers located at 1177 California St. in upscale downtown San Francisco.
        32.- P50-million bribe to FG for the president’s veto of two franchise bills
        33. The additional funding led to a 41-percent spike in advertising expenses, from P76.129 million in 2008 to P107.420 million in 2009, which went mostly to ads for Arroyo’s achievements.
        34. The report said the PIA received from the Department of Budget and Management a notice of cash allocations amounting to P344.789 million, even though only P222.488 million was appropriated for it under the national budget.
        35.- Denial of pork barrel funds to Malacanang’s political enemies
        36.- Praises for Jovito Palparan, alleged mastermind of extra judicial killings of militants
        37.- Removal of govt bodyguards for former pres and Arroyo critic, Cory Aquino
        38.- Appointment of manicurist as a member of the board of Pag-Ibig
        39. Appointment of gardener as deputy of the Luneta Park Administration.
        40. MIDNIGHT APPOINTMENT of an Arroyo, RENATO CORONA, as SC Chief Justice 200+ other illegal midnight appointments
        41.- MIKEY ARROYO’s undeclared properties in California
        42.- Pardon of controversial convicted criminals like Ninoy’s murderers
        43.- EO 464; requiring Cabinet members to seek presidential clearance before testifying in Congress hearings
        44.- Promise (on Rizal Day) to not run for the presidency in 2004
        45.- “Vote Buying” by giving away Philhealth cards
        46.- Taxpayers’ money for her giant billboards and and PCSO tv campaign ads[/b]
        47- Appointment of Ben Abalos, a staunch GMA ally, as COMELEC chair
        48.- Mikey Arroyo’s importation of 32 thoroughbred horses from Australia worth P384 million.
        49.Former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo used 2 choppers 16 times, son Mikey 69
        50.PAGCOR spent P1 BILLION (1,000 million equivalent) on coffee
        51.Jose Miguel Arroyo owned helicopters’ all Robinson R44 Raven Is with Series Nos. 1370 to 1374. A total of $1, 423, 025 was paid to Lionair for the five helicopters.
        52.Pagcor ‘pabaon’ to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: P345M
        53.The godmother’s ties to the Pinedas(Jueteng lord)
        54. Illegal Joint Venture Exploration in Spratly Islands with the Chinese government in 2004. Up to now, no official reports were released about the exploration of Spratly Islands.

      • Heiress says:

        HEY, Jojo Castillo! You better read and read and read again the well written article of Joe America, “Filipinos Should Not Move to the Back of the Bus”before you open your reckless mouth again. 😦

      • Raoul Loreto says:

        me think you should shut up with your battered mind, better study/analyze your nationalistic behavior. if you hate aquino, then do so, but look at how this country should put better life to the filipinos and not to the chinese

      • As a Filipino, I won’t apologize to Hongkong or China. If President Aquino will apologize, then this country will continue to bully and threaten us.

      • lemuel says:

        go fuck yourself jojo, are you a filipino?

      • @ Jojo Castillo.
        Looks like you are also one of the beneficiaries of this pork barrel scam.

      • Rene Macafe says:

        i see this as the president standing his ground…

      • vlady says:

        i don’t think so…..

      • Narciso Morato says:

        Yes, that may be so but it should not be done that we are seen to be appeasing the Chinese. Your animosity toward the president is your right, but let it not cloud your judgment regarding this issue. As the writer of the article stated so clearly, giving in to the demands of the Chinese has many implications which in the long run will eventually be harmful to our country. President Aquino may be at fault but he is not the only one; don’t forget the actual shooter. The Chinese should learn to respect us and treat us as equals. The 1972 Munich Olympic massacre was a similar situation, with the Israeli athletes being killed partly because of a bungled response by the West German police. Did the Israelis make unreasonable demands from the West German government? No.

      • Lovie says:

        What you’ve said is just a disgust on Aquino administration. You’re the short sighted.

      • Ronald says:

        We already apologized to the families, compensated them, punished the guilty and vowed to make policy changes so it won’t happen again. Why do we need to bow down to anybody after all of that? It’s not the Filipino peoples fault. Heck it’s not even the President’s. You’re as blind as a bat if you don’t see the real motive of HK (and yes , China) behind this nonsense.

    • jeff says:

      Jojo… lagyan ng B…


    • jennifer sze says:

      Reading this article help me understand why our presidents stands firm with his decision, let’s also look back at some cases, where we Filipinos were also a victim, killing a few of our fellow kababayans,who’s intent was to just be the tourist in there country.should we act like them, and ask for demands! I don’t really know

    • ricardo says:

      Jojo, I think you’re getting out of the issue. you’re just getting personal with the President who is acting as a Filipino, protecting the integrity of the country and its people in the situation being analyzed as presented.. your political color and being crabby also show. React on Joe America’s article instead. Think Filipino, be a Filipino and defend the Philippines as any citizen should.

  52. Norma says:

    Thank you Mr. Joe America. I support Pres. Aquino’s stance on this issue.

  53. susana bacani says:

    I hope that media, specially those who questions the act of the Philippine president, must read this article to enlighten their mind before they say a word. specially abs-cbn who always speak as if they knows everything.

  54. homerspirit says:

    I agree with the article that HK, being under China is bullying the Philippines, specially with the territorial disputes. And yes, we are weak, if the writer is strictly speaking about armed resistance over China’s sophisticated army. And why is another story. The Philippine government committed a grave mistake over the handling of the Luneta hostage massacre. This was broadcast real time all over the world and put our country in a shameful situation. It was clear from the onset that the hostage taker was willing to negotiate and our leaders didn’t know to do the right thing. And Aquino was a few blocks away from where the hostage taking was happening, so, what wonders did he do for us here or in anything else? Nada. Aquino should man up and apologize. Apologizing doesn’t automatically mean sitting at the back of the bus. Apologizing for a mistake you clearly made is being man about it. I am Filipino and will proudly die as one but I am also human and I have compassion for those who are offended and hurt, much more massacred.

    • Edizon says:

      The innocence of motive is not parallel to an apology. The Philippines has showed sympathy and regret over a situation even Pres Aquino has no control over with. His presence at the incident doesn’t make Him more suitable to negotiate and intervene with the hostage taking. This is a one person’s fault, and a sovereign nation has no obligation to do an apology.

      • homerspirit says:

        Doesn’t change the fact: the Philippine government bungled the situation. The President’s presence was not needed in the event but he was there. If he went there to watch why even bother? Defend Aquino all you want but a mistake is a mistake and an apology is in order. The sovereignty of the Philippines is not the issue here but our relationship with other countries is being put in jeopardy.

        • AlwaysHopeful says:

          But if you read the article you’d understand that there is more at stake than merely “our relationship with other countries.” We need their respect more than anything. If we submit ourselves to what HK demands then what we’re showing is a weakness that they, as well as other countries, can undermine and do what they will with us. I believe the the President is doing the right thing. He’s thinking of what’s best for the country in the long term. This is a short term repercussion but if you really take the time to think about it, it’ll be nothing compared to what could potentially happen if he did apologize.

          I think we find it so easy to judge the president because we aren’t in his shoes. How would we ever know what it feels like to have a whole country as your responsibility? I don’t think we give Aquino half the credit he deserves. We continue to mock him, ridicule him, and criticize his choices… but then again don’t we do that for everyone who WE, mind you, put into power to begin with?

          And why should we appease HK? Because we think they’re important or better than that, is that it? Why don’t WE, as Filipinos, put OURSELVES first this time around? Everyone who is so against this is thinking of what other people are thinking of us, again. We need to stop wanting to please other people and start thinking of our nation first. Look past all your disdain for Aquino and try to see that he’s trying to do the right thing. I’m not saying that he’s right all the time. This is besides the PDAF and Corona problems. Try to isolate his decisions. They’re not all some ruse of selfishness.

          And for those saying that Aquino is always just displacing the blame on other people and not “owning up to it”…. there we go again. We’re so quick to judge. Like I said before, it’s difficult to make a decision for the betterment of a whole nation. So no, I don’t think that Aquino is trying to save face by refusing to apologize, because if I remember correctly, HK is asking Aquino to apologize on behalf of the COUNTRY to himself. He did not want that hostage crisis to happen, no decent human being would.

          Di we make a mistake in terms of handling it? Hell yes. Our media was unethical about the whole situation and didn’t help at all. But I believe that the police and our government had every intent to get all those passengers off of that bus alive.

          We have shown remorse, we have given support to the affected families, but succumbing to every little thing that HK wants is just a game of power play and they want to see if we’ll bite and allow them to take control.

          Aquino made the right decision to hold our ground. Erap, as much as he wanted to help, shouldn’t have issued that apology. It just shows we’re weak as a country and not one as a government. That’s the real issue here. He shouldn’t have interfered with something he has no authority to interfere with to begin with, no matter how altruistic his motives were.

          • Mar Ignacio says:

            Thumbs up!. “Small at specific issues”- sad to say this is still the same trait that many of those who have commented here, have shown. Read little, comment big, my goodness!

          • reanpaulgotinga@yahoo.com says:


            PEOPLE DIEd because of phil govts poor and incompetent handling of this incident..if a person died in the hands of someone because of his incompetence, he can be taken to court and possibly serve time. they are only asking for apology and remuneration, and these are very reasonable and appropriate demands which should have been honoured and should have been the immediate action back then. we are not judging noynoy, he has done and made a lot of good decisions but he can make mistakes too and this is one of them. its alright to make mistake, this doesn’t make him a bad president but if he continues delaying this issue unresolved, then its going to be possibly one of his very costly errors. I hope he will do THE RIGHT THING and that is to send the long overdue apology. its not weakness to ask for apology, he will be the man of morals and honour.

          • Neltz says:

            I agree with this. But for me, it’s okay to punish someone if they really compromise the operation. But to drag our country to a mess that only 50 – hundreds of people committed, I think it is really not right. I think they wanted more if that’s the case

        • Hernan says:

          Why would we apologize if what is at stakes are more Filipinos, their pride and their honor?
          Do you really think that if the President will apologize the HK government won’t laugh at us? Do you really think it is all about relationship?

          “The Philippines has expressed its regrets to the families of the slain tourists and offered financial remuneration to victims.”

          Is this not enough?

  55. Flor Male says:

    long article but definitely worth my time. i stand for my country. we, Filipinos, should learn to stand up and make a step forward. each one of us has the responsibility to protect our nation. for Estrada, he’s a traditional politician, what do you expect from him? i am not an Aquino loyalist, but i think he is fair in his decision. it’s time, we as Filipinos, to love and serve our country. no one else will …

  56. independence says:

    1. The Philippine government had already expressed regret and condolences to the families of the victims.
    2. The Philippine government had already offered $75,000 to the family of each victim.
    3. Hongkong is not an independent country, it’s just part of China. In diplomatic view, this is a mere city asking demands from a sovereign country. A mayor demanding from a president or a king. Which is absurd.

  57. Cesar Olegario says:

    All the reasons cited by Mr. America are all well taken. I do agree with Mr. Aquino’s stance on the matter and enough is enough. If there is one person who should apologize I believe it should be the one who orchestrated all the actions taken by the police authorities.

  58. pinkangel says:

    President Aquino is the only president in present times who never bowed to any bullying from other countries, specially China. He is the kind of president who fights for the freedom and sovereignty of his very own country, never leaving the ideals and virtues of a true President and a Filipino.

    • Emil Aco says:

      This is a very simple issue. Why make it complicated? By all means let us apologize to HK, pay the victims, 4 times the amount they wanted, then let us work hard as a country so that in 20 years time we become progressive and militarily strong country. Then by that time we can SPIT on these arrogant HK people!!

      • homerspirit says:

        I agree, Emil. I am also one Proud Filipino, i refuse to bow to other nations but if I commit a mistake I can also admit it and apologize for it. If the president they are defending is teally thinking of the Filipinos and not his ego, the country would be in a better situation now rather than submerged in corruption and deception. It’s all about himself for Noynoy.

        • Fanny says:

          I agree as well. I respect the author’s point of view however apologizing does not equal to being bullied and being seated at the back of the bus. What Hong Kong demands is an apology from the President, representing the Philippine government and not the people of the Philippines itself (as to paraphrase what the representative of HK has said: We demand an apology from the Philippine government and not the people of the Philippines as they did not commit any harm to the situation).

          We need to start owning up to our flaws and mistakes. Apologizing does not mean that we are weak, it means to admit that the Philippines has a weak government system in itself, and that we accept that we need to build a better system internally.

          • Mark says:

            HK might be saying they demand an apology from the PH government only, but I think behind it they are including all Filipinos: the Chinese or people from HK are bullying “Filipinos” in their land as if the incident was “their” direct fault. HK now removing visa-free for Filipinos. HK wants to sanction trades. etc etc… What I see here is HK is after the entire PH, not just it’s government. So if we kiss their a**es and do what they want, it is the entire PH that will suffer in the future, not just with HK/China but from other countries who will use this as a weapon to make us weaker.

            I believe the author is right that this should be taken to an international neutral ground.

          • Kyut Katz says:

            WE have made the apology but what HK did?
            “Hong Kong declined to receive the apology and angrily re-iterated its demands.”

            Is this line missed by a lot from this forum??? they are playing their cards well, we should start to do it as well. How many OFW’s were killed with the hands of these HK nationals, Have we taken our stand and let THEIR President and their nation APOLOGIES????

            It happened in Manila..a Mayor is taking his actions (not that I’m supporting it 100%) but it definitely shows that an apology, an ACTUAL APOLOGY will never appease HONGKONG. They would let us do it, and then MOCK us again. Then, what a President’s apology be of difference? They wanted us to kneel? And they wanted the Head of State? Re-examine your stand…re-examine their (HK) motives…re-examine Mr President’s action. Then, comment again on how you want to end this.

            Oh, by the way….as how HK plays it…they don’t want to end this. They just want the piece of us, Filipinos. and they want All of us die with a heavy heart…So go ahead let them do that to us.

          • Narciso Morato says:

            Ano ka ba? Have you forgotten that the government of the Philippines represents the people of the Philippines? So how can you say that they’re just asking from an apology from our government and not from us? The problem with this point of view is that it tries to make the issue too simple; like dealing with simple individuals. Of course, if you wrong one person, the right thing to do is to apologize. But these are two supposedly sovereign countries, not two individuals. To apologize publicly may be the right thing to do, but it will also seem that we are bowing to their demands. If the Chinese see that we are easily threatened then they may eventually make even more unreasonable demands. Sa huli, ang kawawa yung ating mga kababayan. All countries have their flaws and faults; wala naman perfektong gobyerno. What I’m trying to say is that admitting and owning up to faults may be the right thing to do but may not always be in the best interest of one’s country.

      • MMA says:

        Yes, simple indeed. But if you’re carrying the minds of over 96+ million Filipino people, it doesn’t come easy. The fact that we’ve already given them the utmost sympathy and regrets in the past, why repeat it again? It’ll only make us look abysmal and underdog. And to say that this bus massacre has nothing to do with territorial disputes is completely sightless.

        • homerspirit says:

          Facts: Apologizing is not a sign if weakness it is being man enough to own up to your mistakes. The Phil gov’t committed a mistake un handling the situation. Innocent Hongkong nationals were killed. Why not apologize?

          • MMA says:

            No. Just no. It’s not his ego nor he’s being selfish but that’s what MOST of the Filipinos think that apologizing is not needed.

            If the current administration will issue an apology, are we going to get the same?
            Will they also apologize for stealing a chunk of our territory (which clearly belongs to us)?

          • Kerwin So says:

            It is not the whole country’s mistake (unless you are one of the policemen who rescued). Government did tried their best to rescue the poor HK tourists but our group of policemen just lacks strategy. They are under pressure anyway, they are not the typical hollywood actors that never run out of stunts and strategies (though letting the media to expose their moves is so stupid).
            But the bottomline is, their intention of saving these poor victims is pure, they did their best to save them from the hands of ONE Filipino but they just failed. And with that, THE WHOLE COUNTRY SHOULD NOT APOLOGIZE. Feeling sorry for the victim’s family is enough already.
            Just please give you country a piece of pride, it’s like somebody “accidentally” spilled a coffee in a coffee shop and that customer demanded that coffee shop to replace his wet pants and undies and the manager has to kneel?? So insane.
            HK’s demands may not be part of bullying alright, but who knows..

      • jeanette says:

        it is plain bullying…. because HK knows that there are thousands if not millions of PINOYS working there (not to include other chinese territories like Taiwan and Macau), and they are using this fact to threaten the Phils either by PROBABLY FIRING THEM or MAKING IT HARDER FOR PINOYS TO GET IN.. and yah… this ridiculous VISA REQUIREMENT as if HK is the ONLY PLACE to visit in ASIA. Obviously, asar sila sa Pinas because dinala na natin sa International tribunal ang kaso sa SOUTH CHINA SEA TERRITORIAL DISPUTE and this is dahil ayaw nilang makinig sa pakiusap at diplomasya. KC KUNG ANONG GUSTO NILA… GUSTO NILA MAKUHA NILA… AT WHATEVER COST and IN WHATEVER WAY.. AYUN BINAKURAN NA NILA ANG IBANG PARTE AT ANDUN NA MGA MILITARY SHIPS NILA….MISMONG PINOY COASTGUARD DI NA MAKALAPIT…. di pa ba BULLYING yon?… parang pinagsisigawan sa mukha nating LANGGAM LANG TAYONG puede nilang tirisin kung gusto nila. Ginagamit na lang nila tong hostage issue ta wala na silang ibang magamit na gumanti sa Pinas…. kc alam nilang talo sila sa KORTE, ni ayaw nilang siputin… NAKAKAHIYA sa parte nila na malaman ng buong mundo kung GAANO SILA KAGANID… di na ako magtaka… by history… ganun din ginawa sa walang kalaban laban na TIBET…

  59. iamjoanni says:

    I respect the opinion on this article, though i think the usage of Rosa Park being the Philippines does not entirely correlate – why so? First, have Rosa Park – or her family, or anyone of her responsibility- commit a crime against whites? Blacks then were being bullied for no definite reason except their color. While, on the other hand, the Philippines – who was responsible to handle the hostage taking – did so. How? You may say, that it was not the president who killed those or it was not him who ordered that guy to hostage those tourist. Well, let us all get back and look at what triggered to hold a hostage in the first place – he was dismissed in his position due to a crime committed by one of his officials and since that person is under his supervision, even if he was a decorated police man, he was dismissed from his position. All Mendoza was pleading was to get his freakin job back – although his methods were wrong. If the President during that time stood up instead of hiding out of nowhere he could have eased up the situation and none of this would still be making news by now! And if we look up Mendoza’s case, technically, since he messed up, his superiors should be dismissed as well -PNP Officials, The President etc. People are saying that the president is looking at this in a long term point of view, really? How? We looking as arrogant for the next 20 years? Keeping our head up for a crime that was not our country is different when – 1) if it was 2)if we have the power and capability to fight them off. Lets just bow down. Say sorry for this mess and only this. It was the Philippines responsibility in the first place.

    • homerspirit says:

      They can defend Aquino all they want, even pay the press and buy PR spins but the fact remains. His ego comes before anything else. He doesn’t care for international sanctions because he has Trillions of pesos in his bank account. So why worry over ushapless Filipino slaves who work our asses off for their convenience? Apologize, Noynoy.

    • Neltz says:

      Rosa park is just a comparison to how Philippines exist. The Philippines exist in a neighborhood of countries that wanted to be obeyed aside from being respected. The Philippines is existing in that neighborhood whilst thinking that they should also be respected.

      I agree in your statement that there are smarter strategies that the President/Officials-in Charge would’ve taken to control the situation. I guess that’s the one they should improved.

      I guess the Philippines you were referring to is the Philippine Government and not the country because I am not in the hostage taking scene. The Filipino babies that were born after the hostage taking isn’t their either,

  60. JoeAM,

    Good stuff over all. In the natural shape of it all, it should be Beijing that ought to be negotiating, not Hong Kong since, HK is not a sovereign nation. In the same vein that Manila— as a city— doesn’t have rights to negotiate on behalf of the Philippine government with regard to this issue. Estrada is overstepping his authority.

    Is this, primarily a local matter to Hong Kong? I don’t know what the news stories are in Hong Kong or the politics involved there. Is this an election issue for example?

    That said, it is in my humble opinion that Chinese hegemony— Beijing–Taipei—Hong Kong— in the region ought to be challenged.

    • Kyut Katz says:

      You have said it right….HK is not a sovereign nation, then all the more Estrada is their match…Just saying LOGICALLY

  61. Very well-said..it is a very blatant attempt by the master (CHINA) ordering its minion (HONGKONG) to bully and insult the sovereignty of a much weaker (militarily) country to force the Philippines to bow and follow China’s superpower whim and delusion..we Filipinos must not let this Asian bully to underestimate and spit on our spirit and pride as a nation..we support PNoy’s stance in this issue..LONG LIVE the FILIPINO PRIDE!!!

  62. Juan says:

    thank you Joe.

    Well written and great analogy.

    I wonder if China will apologize to the Philippines or renumerate the Filipino victims of the Tianamen bombing.

  63. reanpaulgotinga@yahoo.com says:

    agree…phil govt should have apologised straight away. there was ABSOLUTELY mishandling and incompetence on their part..asking for apology doesn’t equate to being weak…it was the right thing to do, people died regardless of what their race was. they have been waiting long enough, they’ve been pushed beyond the bounds of their patience…three years and still nothing was happening. lets not promote twisted patriotism here…ITS the RIGHT THING to do.

    • reanpaulgotinga@yahoo.com says:

      lets not digress, lets just put resolution to this coz this unfortunate incident should have closure by now !

    • Fanny says:

      I completely agree. Apologizing is simply the right thing to do. It does not mean being bullied. We have to stand up for ourselves not by declining to issue a public apology, but rather by using this situation as a lesson to further improve our government system.

    • Kyut Katz says:

      WE have made the apology but what HK did?
      “Hong Kong declined to receive the apology and angrily re-iterated its demands.”

      Is this line missed by a lot from this forum??? they are playing their cards well, we should start to do it as well. How many OFW’s were killed with the hands of these HK nationals, Have we taken our stand and let THEIR President and their nation APOLOGIES????

      It happened in Manila..a Mayor is taking his actions (not that I’m supporting it 100%) but it definitely shows that an apology, an ACTUAL APOLOGY will never appease HONGKONG. They would let us do it, and then MOCK us again. Then, what a President’s apology be of difference? They wanted us to kneel? And they wanted the Head of State? Re-examine your stand…re-examine their (HK) motives…re-examine Mr President’s action. Then, comment again on how you want to end this.

      Oh, by the way….as how HK plays it…they don’t want to end this. They just want the piece of us, Filipinos. and they want All of us die with a heavy heart…So go ahead let them do that to us.

    • Narciso Morato says:

      How about this; what if you are called to deal with a situation you are not trained to handle in the first place? But since you’re the only one available, it’s up to you to resolve the situation. Like being the only doctor available to deal with a medical emergency he is not trained for. But since he is the only one, he tries his best but the patient dies. If you were the patients’ relative, would you ask him to apologize and compensate your family? Chances are, you would actually thank him for trying. Just think about it for a moment.

  64. wanoy says:

    Right on!!

    Why would the Philippine Government apologize on that terrorist act if China didn’t apologize on the terrorist act that killed a Filipino doctor’s family that happened under the Chinese ruled land.just recently. Did the Filipino’s even heard about it? No,because it was blacked out from us.that is how dubious they are.


    We can’t bow down to a country that looks down on us.

    • kish says:

      We should not make an Apology! ESTRADA’s (ERAP+JINGOY=SCAMS) SHOULD FIRST MAKE AN APOLOGY TO THE FILIPINOS… They don’t have MORAL ASCENDANCY making believe that they will be HEROES for FILIPNOS, they will never be-… HISTORY WILL TELL US WHY… MR PRESIDENT! heed on… we will fully support you…

    • Kyut Katz says:


    • J.Andres says:

      Why would China give their apology when President PNoy is shit scared to even ask?

  65. Marilou Tojon says:

    An apology. When you commit a mistake; you should apologize. When you did not handle the situation with intelligence, common sense and the way it should be; you apologize.

    We were taught in school to pay respect to people and one way of doing is by talking. Saying “Sorry” is one way of showing respect to others that “They regret what happened, it should not have happened and it will never happen”

    Philippines.. Is that so difficult?? You are saying that others like China are looking down on you. China do not. It is you, yourself, the “Pinoys” are doing so for others to look down on you. China is not a racist country. They themselves are being racially discriminated by other countries like US, UK and Australia. The Chinese people have a harmonious relationship with Filipinos that’s why there are a lot of Chinese in the Philippines and as well as Filipinos in China.

    Why is Singapore so clean, discipline and a strong nation? Why is Japan rises from a garbage shit after WWII becoming the 2nd world economy in Asia and 3rd powerhouse in the world. Why has China become the 2nd world economy as well as powerhouse military in the world?

    ANSWER: Humility, acceptance, will & actions! NOT ARROGANCE and feeling important!!!

    Please also check on reanpaulgotinga@yahoo.com comment. Very well said. This kind of people who reacted this way has a bright future on them. Thank you Rean Paul and sorry for not asking permission to include you on this writing. I respect you.

    • Fanny says:

      Yes, I agree. I think that the Philippines lacks humility in many aspects. We do not own up to our mistakes and I think that is one of the key reasons why our country does not progress very well.

    • Kyut Katz says:

      WE have made the apology but what HK did?
      “Hong Kong declined to receive the apology and angrily re-iterated its demands.”

      Is this line missed by a lot from this forum??? they are playing their cards well, we should start to do it as well. How many OFW’s were killed with the hands of these HK nationals, Have we taken our stand and let THEIR President and their nation APOLOGIES????

      It happened in Manila..a Mayor is taking his actions (not that I’m supporting it 100%) but it definitely shows that an apology, an ACTUAL APOLOGY will never appease HONGKONG. They would let us do it, and then MOCK us again. Then, what a President’s apology be of difference? They wanted us to kneel? And they wanted the Head of State? Re-examine your stand…re-examine their (HK) motives…re-examine Mr President’s action. Then, comment again on how you want to end this.

      Oh, by the way….as how HK plays it…they don’t want to end this. They just want the piece of us, Filipinos. and they want All of us die with a heavy heart…So go ahead let them do that to us.

    • Narciso Morato says:

      But what if you are not trained for a situation but have to deal with it because there is no one else to call? You try your best to resolve the situation but because you are not adequately trained, you failed. Like, for example, being the only doctor available who is called upon to deal with an emergency he is not trained for. But since he is the only doctor, he does his best but the patient still dies. Will you, as the relative of that patient, ask for compensation and apology from the doctor? Most likely, you’ll actually still thank him for trying and doing his best. Just think about that.

  66. chao-wei says:

    For me, I think an apology by the City of Manila is worthy, but an apology from the President of the Philippines is too much. The President is right to stand his ground on this issue, and it is right for Erap to apologize to Hong Kong.


    Because the apology of the City of Manila to the Special Government of Hong Kong has no diplomatic repercussions whatsoever. It is simply an act of goodwill. If, however, the President is going to apologize (and he must needs apologize to Beijing, not to Hong Kong), that will mean effectively what JoeAm says: the Philippines being bullied into submission by China.

  67. NO APOLOGY FOR THAT BULLY!!! CHINA… one sided nation… Erap… the idiot and double face politician have no rights to that… he’s not doing that for the country.. he’s doing that for the politics… that empty coconut shell TRAPO… that’s a treason… the president of the Philippines should file case against him for what they done.. there in Hongkong… The president should stand firm for what he said before… WE HAVE NO OBLIGATION TO FOLLOW THEM… it is our country and it is our policy… we should follow what the commander in chief told us ( ERAP as public official knew that but still he disobeyed the instruction of the president). Lately there is a act of terrorism in TIANAMEN SQUARE BEIJING… filipino doctor killed but they not made an apology to the Phillipines… WHY? Because we are WEAK( MILITARILY WEAK)… WAKE UP FILIPINO… my support is with you Mr. President Aquino…

  68. defender says:

    Some Facts

    1. The Philippines already expressed its condolences to the families of the victim. They even declared August 25 as a National Day of Mourning as a sign of respect.

    2. The Philippine government already offered a $75,000 compensation for EACH victim’s family. That is a LOT compared to the compensation received by a Filipino soldier or a policeman’s family if they are killed (which is only about $2,000)

    3. Hongkong is only a city, the Philippines is a sovereign country. Thus, the head of Hongkong does not have the diplomatic right to directly call and make demands to the PRESIDENT of the Philippines as if they are equal. Let China do that.

    4. In 2005, Mr. and Mrs Madrigal, filipino tourists, was hacked to death in Tianmen square in China in front of their children. Also In 2013, a Filipina doctor, also a tourist, was killed and her family injured when a burning vehicle driven by alleged chinese terrorists crashed into them.

    Did China apologized ? Did they even offered compensation ? NO!

    Why the double standard ? If China cant protect their tourists then why blame the Philippines for this isolated incident ?

    5. Hongkong’s retaliation by punishing 100,000 innocent Filipino domestic helpers won’t solve anything. It’s nothing but bullying tactics aimed at the wrong targets.

    • Marilou Tojon says:

      Our topic here is APOLOGY. If you have watch how the Philippine government with its police force and military responded to the hostage crisis.. then react.

      There are MANY chances the situation should have solve peacefully without blood shed. In addition; critical situations should not be aired on TV and with that; the killer saw how the police is making their move to get him.

      SIMPLE. JUST CUT THE BULL SHIT OUT and apology and everything should have been already on tract of business again. PRIDE, DIGNITY & FREEDOM. Check what is the Philippines right now.

      CLAIMING the pride and democracy after revolution on 1986:
      * Is the country in better state right now?
      * Is graft & corruption minimize?
      * Did the present administration promise to reform the land for the poor?
      * Are the politicians very honest in dealing all the cases to the Filipino people?
      * Are the POOR getting better after 1986? 1992? 1998? 2010? 2013? 27 years after 1986?

      Who’s bullying who? Who’s discrimination who? Who’s fooling who?

      • homerspirit says:

        True. It’s just an apology. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s just saying we are sorry this had to happen to your countrymen under our watch. It’s not bowing down to a bully. It’s actuallynsaying we are equals and we committed a mistake please accept our sorry. We don’t have to interpret it in another way.

        • Marilou Tojon says:

          Very well said homerspirit and its very simple. If the Philippines or its president have already apologize then Hong Kong government still doesn’t accept it and making a big deal out of it, that’s another thing.

          I was once told by a Chinese… and there is a saying goes… To translate it. “Make big problems small. Make small problems to none.”

          What the Philippines stance is making things more complicated and complex. Go on… Go on Philippines. I see where this country will head on. United in being pride and corrupt… That’s what I see. That’s what the mojority sees. That’s the reality!

          • Kyut Katz says:

            We are the one that’s prologing this OR them (HK)

            WE have made the apology but what HK did?
            “Hong Kong declined to receive the apology and angrily re-iterated its demands.”

            Is this line missed by a lot from this forum??? they are playing their cards well, we should start to do it as well. How many OFW’s were killed with the hands of these HK nationals, Have we taken our stand and let THEIR President and their nation APOLOGIES????

            It happened in Manila..a Mayor is taking his actions (not that I’m supporting it 100%) but it definitely shows that an apology, an ACTUAL APOLOGY will never appease HONGKONG. They would let us do it, and then MOCK us again. Then, what a President’s apology be of difference? They wanted us to kneel? And they wanted the Head of State? Re-examine your stand…re-examine their (HK) motives…re-examine Mr President’s action. Then, comment again on how you want to end this.

            Oh, by the way….as how HK plays it…they don’t want to end this. They just want the piece of us, Filipinos. and they want All of us die with a heavy heart…So go ahead let them do that to us.

        • Kyut Katz says:

          Hmmm apology to you YES…but what is apology to them (HK)??? you better ask it yourself…you may have regrets of pushing yourself to say sorry.

          By the way, it’s us who is saying sorry here, Mr President is just a representative.

      • Kyut Katz says:

        If indeed the topic is apology….we tried to make those people live….but what how about them (HK) have they tried to protect us from their own? DOUBLE STANDARD…are you really a Filipino? Ms Marilou Tojon

      • defender says:

        An official “apology” between countries is not just some “I’m sorry, we’re friends now.” conversation mind you. It has a LOT of diplomatic and legal implications. It will allow international lawsuits against the country and every time a crime/accident happens then it will be a legal precedent so EVERYONE can sue the country.

        Again, the Philippines had already expressed its condolences and shown how sorry it is for the incident. It has also offered a decent compensation to the victims’ families. Furthermore, the City of Manila, where the incident happened, had already issued a formal apology.

        Why ask an apology from an ENTIRE COUNTRY ? when the isolated incident is caused by a single mad man.

        Tourists DIE EVERYDAY around the world. Filipino tourists died in China in 2005 and 2013 because of lack of security, did China issued an apology ? or even offered a compensation ? No.

        • reanpaulgotinga@yahoo.com says:

          the incident was a hostage situation, if this was handled competently our govt could have SAVED PEOPLES LIVES…all the other comparisons made were our own filipinos died in their shores were of different scenarios so there are no point of comparisons. if we didn’t do any measures against those govt not taking responsibilities then that’s our govt own shortcomings isn’t it ? why didn’t our govt demand remuneration and justice ?…Now, if after apology and the Chinese govt still doesn’t take that in a positive light then lets deal with the matter accordingly but we cant yet jump into conclusions that their reactions wont be a positive one. as to the apology being possibly taken as legal precedent, there is a way to avoid this, we just have to tread matters very carefully and consider every issues merits or counter merits and take it one step at a time . But first things first i think we have to begin in doing what is right, the immediate action should’ve been sending an apology. From here on out, the phil govt should increase their standards of governance, if not they will always find themselves in the international arena as a govt of no integrity and morals. We cant demand to be respected, respect is earned and if this is how we act which is by not taking ownership in our own faults then we will never get anywhere. if our govt will be taken to international court, we wont have to be afraid of such isnt it if we practice good and competent governance we will have sufficient merits to win a lawsuit. we can win if we have merits to win which is how it should be. That’s precisely why laws are being created and courts are existing, to enforce/uphold JUSTICE. Our govt should learn their lessons everytime such kind of events happen and they should implement measures so as to prevent the same mistakes happening in the future otherwise our country will never progress . We should always strive to do whats right, that’s should be the foundation of a good government. If we do what is right, they cant hold anything against us. they cant make threats of sanctions etc. we shouldn’t be the one to give them reason to make threats coz we resolve issues in a very timely manner. this issue had been unresolved unnecessarily far too long .

          • reanpaulgotinga@yahoo.com says:

            correction – *the immediate action should’ve been to send an apology 😉

          • defender says:

            It’s not a farfetched comparison, our tourists also died in China. Mr. and Mrs Madrigal was attacked in front of their children on 2005 and was hacked to death. While Dra. Bunyi and her family was crushed by a vehicle that managed to get passed Tianmen’s square security. Both incident happened in the SAME tourist area and couild have also been potentially prevented if only China’s security wasn’t lax.

            Again, the Philippines has already expressed its condolences, offered compensation and the city of Manila has already officially apologized. The police chief that handled the incident was also sacked. I think its more than enough.

            This isnt merely just an “apology letter”, you must understand it deeply in terms of its diplomatic implications. If the Philippines, as a nation, issued an official apology then its opening its doors to international lawsuits. Every similar incident in the future will also use this as precedent to sue the country.

            There’s more to this than just facevalue. .

          • rean says:

            @ defender you guys are comparing china’s LAX SECURITY against our govts BLUNDER in the handling of the hostage taking competently where peoples lives could have been saved…I don’t understand why people cant get that the situations are different.

          • rean says:

            our govt made a blunder, a stupid, laughable and pathetic one at that and it has the audacity to deny apology for 3 years…that is not right, apology is the right thing to do…lets reach to the hearts of HK and Chinese govt, and lets stop prolonging this unnecessarily. im sure they’ll turn around

          • Narciso Morato says:

            How about this; what if you’re asked to deal with a situation you’re not trained to deal with in the first place? But since you’re the only one available, it is up to you to resolve the situation. Like a town doctor/general practitioner, called upon to deal with a medical emergency he was not trained to deal with. But since he is the only doctor available, he has no choice but to treat the patient the best he could. He does his best, but the patient still dies. As the relative of this patient, would you ask the doctor to apologize and compensate you and your family? Chances are, you would actually thank him for doing his best. Just think about this for a moment.

          • rean says:

            I agree..its false pride. now I don’t know if china is using this incident to haggle a deal to their advantage about the spratley issue coz it seems to me that there is something going on behind the scene…I hope this is not the case coz I know govts can take an issue and use it to their benefit and sometimes they even instigate. but I think if we just send a proper apology then they wont have any excuse anymore to make those sanction threats against us. they will be the one in question if they don’t take the apology in a positive light. right now we are the one looking bad.

        • News flash, nobody really gives a shit about international courts. Their power is very limited. A powerful country like China can just one day decide to make its own international courts or its own UN just because they can. If you havent noticed, states are not under any one world order.
          Also, lack of security was not the issue here. It was gross negligence in how the government handled the situation. If you had a relative that died in that bus you wouldnt want government to admit they messed up? So it coud happen again to some poor person? Do you even recall any kins of reform made in the PNP so that this type of situation can be avoided?
          False pride….

      • Narciso Morato says:

        No, the real issue here is china making unreasonable demands. You forget that it is not entirely the fault of the police. The police were simply not trained to handle this kind of situation. That doesn’t mean they were negligent. I believe that the response of the Philippine government is adequate for the situation. I suggest you look up the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre. The circumstances are very similar. The Israeli hostages all died because of the mishandling and bungling of the West German police. It’s not because they were negligent, but because up to that point in time, the West German police were not trained to handle that kind of terrorist situation. Did the Israel government ask for an apology? Did they ask for compensation? NO!

        • rean says:

          HA ! did you watch the movie MUNICH ? the Israel people took it to their own hands, theyre not satisfied by asking for apology or remuneration or they probably know already they wont get it.

      • edgar says:

        Shabu pa ate, medyo sabog sabog na sinusulat mo eh, iba iba na direksyon. Gets ko na galit ka ke pnoy, dami mo kc kinakalkal tungkol sa kanya, barado ka na, dun sa looting eh, cge lang ate marilou, shabu pa, ps. Magtagalog ka na lang.

  69. Emy says:

    Well said. We are different in cultures and Hong Kong / China should also respect the decision of our President. The worrying bit for me is China holds a major key role in the United Nations. Why are they instilling hatred whereas they should be the first one instigating peace.

  70. For internal affairs and issue each citizen can stand and fight for what he believes is right. But when it comes to protecting the sovereignty of the country the Filipinos should be united.

  71. I am not into politics. But, my dad(who watch news daily) told me that president already say sorry before. Is saying it once enough? or should we have a 5 minutes telecast for this thing?

  72. Too much talk. Just apologize to Hongkong and save the Filipinos working there! Apologize also to the Filipino people for the Thievery of peoples money through DAP and PDAF.

    • Ask estrada, enrile, revilla, et al to apologize for their thievery of their PDAF. The thievery of the DAP? That is just a misdirection of the people involved with the PDAF scam and their cohorts. Can you show an iota of evidence that the DAP (from 2010 to the present) has not been used judiciously? You are probably referring to the years before 2010. Well, that’s another story altogether. haha.

  73. John Chua says:

    How many OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) meet their dimise in china, Hongkong or Taiwan while doing jobs? Will we also require the yellow race to apologize to the Filipinos due to the incompetence of their law enforcers? No one wants the bus shooting in Manila to happened, the only reason why Hongkong/china is exaggerating this event beyond proportions is because of one thing: territorial dispute over the west Philippine seas. China was surprised that a small (weak by China’s standard) country like the Philippines would not yield it’s territorial claims over the disputed seas despite all the economical and military intimidations of china. With all of China’s media propaganda, the Philippines was able to show the world what china is…. A typical school yard bully. As per Estrada’s apology to Hongkong, I think the intention is noble but the act is wrong. Estrada is just a mayor of Manila, he should follow the path of president of the Philippines towards this issue. Maybe Estrada is just trying to advance his political career, his act only reveals one thing….. He is not a good subordinate, and so he will not be an effective leader.

  74. tyt says:

    Very well said and couldn’t agree more. there wouldn’t be foreign policies / diplomacy if everything at state level can be resolved by a word of sorry. There’s more to it than meets the eye. Estrada could either be simply stupid, or smartly scheming his opponent’s downfall at the expense of the country’s repute.

  75. Bruce in Iloilo says:

    Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott began in 1955, the mid-50s, not the 60s. Civil Rights Movement, Desegregation, and the rest began in the 50s, under Pres. Eisenhower, and reached its peak then, with its final culmination with national legislation in the early 60s under Pres. Johnson.

    • Jennifera says:

      Nitpicking on historical facts, eh? Let’s assume you are right, Bruce. Now, dare I ask what’s your point? 🙂

  76. The Mouse says:

    The perennial question is:

    Why are they SUDDENLY demanding these AFTER 3 years? It would have been more acceptable if they were demanding these and threatening sanctions right after the incident.

    I am highly suspicious that the REAL motive behind this is for HK to remind the Philippines that it is inferior to it.

    I Hope your doing fine amid the wacky supertyphoon

    Which makes me thing, will HK still throw these stupidity now that the Philippines has more pressing issues other than kissing Hong Kongs ass?

    • MMA says:

      I agree. I don’t get why this whole mishap is appearing again. There’s a huge political agenda behind this or should I say territorial disputes? And to say that this shit has nothing to do with it is complete BS.

  77. the Filipinos is still worth fighting for! says:

    A very objective insight. I, as a very proud pinoy, will not be bullied by any race nor country. So to those who are looking for one to step onto, go find yourselves another one!

  78. Free Spirit says:

    It is really sad to see that we Filipinos do not have nationalism and patriotism instilled to our mind and hearts. We don’t stand strong for what we believe and what is right. We are being perpetrated by our own intellectual propaganda pretending that we can “do better” if we are the one facing the situation (we should have done this and shouldn’t do that). Have you looked into the mirror and ask ourselves what have you done to make this country, our country better? Most of us are just mere watchers to what is happening in our country and yet we have a lot of things to say. We want our opinions to be heard but we do not want to participate and is skipping ourselves from the effect of our actions. Our domestic helpers “kababayans” in Hongkong has been killed and maltreated by these people and yet when they demand such a silly request, we are out to do it at once? All those Filipinos who believe that we should follow every single bit of demand of these HK people should live in HK right now so they can actually see and feel how Filipinos are being treated by these people that they want to bow. Nobody wants to be in a hostage crisis nor a country to experience that to any of its tourist. But why we haven’t moved on with what happened and make it as a great example of what we should do better next time? Our government has done their legal obligation to HK and it is up to them if they want to take it or not. No one can truly replace what’s been lost and it can never be taken back! A lot of Filipinos working abroad has been put into danger and lost their lives but did any of those countries mindfully and wholeheartedly give in to the demands of the Philippine government? We’ve been abused, maltreated and discriminated all over the world and yet we never demanded anything like this HK people wants us to do. If they are out to saying that a visiting visa is needed so we can travel HK, then perhaps it’s time as well for us to look into other countries to visit and just cross out HK on our list. If they want to ban Philippine products, then perhaps it is the same for us not to buy any China made as well. There are a lot of good things being a Filipino, but one bad thing about us. We never really have the spirit of unity and love for our country! Those Filipinos, who hate their own country shouldn’t be living in the Philippines in the first place and blame their ancestors for being in a race like ours…Too bad, there are still lots of Filipinos who don’t have the balls to stand up for what is right and will just simply go and sit at the back of the bus since it is where their balls belong as well, should be at the back of their body, not in front, for its only purpose is to satisfy themselves and not show that they have the balls to back their body.

    • J.Andres says:

      I think if the Philippines has problems with how domestic helpers are being treated in Hongkong then they should settle this issue in Hongkong. But is the government doing anything about this? I don’t think so. Be angry to the Philippine Government for not doing their job, don’t blame it at countries who take their law and people seriously. Patriotism isn’t about bathing in your own pile of shit. Clean it first then take a bath on it. That’s patriotism.

    • teamworx says:

      When we go to a company if some staff mistreat us,then we call the manager first thing we hear is sorry, even if its not the fault of the next person, sorry does not mean you are wrong. in this case for me our government handled the case very poorly, bara bara whats wrong if we say we are sorry, its because it should be done way back before thats why its becoming hard to say. im sure your going to say how bout our ofw they are mistreated etc., but the difference is this is our police who hostage and our government who failed. like in pork barrel our politician wont say they are sorry everything is filled to the court of no time limit.

    • Nosferatu says:

      Well said @Free Spirit… I couldn’t agree more.

    • jeanette says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Very well said FreeSpirit.

      HK forgot that without their DH, their people (mostly working middle class also trying to make ends meet) will be forced to stay home, or opt not have more children. They need the filipino workers (DH or NOT) as much as our our people need them! It’s just that they see DH as lower forms of human beings instead of a HELPER.

      HK’s demand is very insulting. We’ve already given our apologies, paid remunerations and owned accountability for it… right there and then. But I wonder HOW MANY, HOW LONG, AND IN WHAT MANNER DO THEY WANT US TO APOLOGIZE TO THEM? AND WHY THE SUDDEN RESURRECTION OF THE ISSUE NOW? a sudden resurgence of aftershock in their part?

      AND IF WE DON’T APOLOGIZE? HK (CHINA) WILL ORDER THEIR LOCALS TO TERMINATE ALL FILIPINO/DH WORKERS IN HK? THAT’S PLAIN BULLYING! and PURE POWER PLAY. China wants to show the world THAT THEY GET WHAT THEY WANT by threatening these so called sanctions as if they don’t need us.. LET US THEN GIVE THEM AN INSINCERE APOLOGY….. because as far as I know… apologies should not be FORCED. I believe the first one was sincere and heartfelt.

      I believe the Phils has done its utmost to use diplomacy to its maximum in consideration to economic ties particularly thousands if not millions of filipinos who work in chinese territories. With this in mind, I am even more inclined now to DARE THEM DO WHATEVER THEY ARE THREATENING US. I GUESS THEIR PEOPLE DO NOT NEED OUR DH and WOULD BE GLAD TO JUST STAY HOME….that is, if the HK govt will provide them their own LOCAL DH who will DO A MUCH BETTER JOB at being their children’s nannies, caregivers, all around help, drivers, car washers, in-house english tutors, labourers in their manufacturing companies and not to mention the THOUSANDS who work as professionals… tell me more.. they should be ENTRUSTING THIS JOBS TO THEIR OWN PEOPLE .. they are after all the most populous country in the world and they can afford to offer dirt cheap wages.

      Imposing a visa on us? ON WHAT GROUNDS? WHAT THE HECK! CROSS THEM OUT from our itinerary list. ECONOMY FARES are abound… HELLO ASIA! There are other much better places to visit and shop besides HK/CHINA.

      HK to RESURRECT THIS ISSUE…AT THIS TIME is no longer about the hostage issue. IT IS ABOUT THE TERRITORIAL DISPUTE that they are greedily claiming to be theirs. CHINA is just one GREEDY BULLY who will take whatever it can from countries/neighbours who they look down as weak. Just look at their history. Korea? Tibet? now the Philippines is next! They are so irked at us for bringing this issue to the international court of law. They won’t recognize any INTERNATIONAL LAW AS LONG AS THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT.


  79. J.Andres says:

    I don’t understand this. Dan Brown calls the Philippines a gateway to hell and the whole country goes nuts and demands an apology which Dan Brown offered. And now the Philippines clearly made a terrible mistake with the hostage crisis and deprives Hongkong with its deserved apology(specially the families involved). Out of delicadeza to the family who lost their loved ones from the mediocrity of the Philippine Government, I think PNoy should apologize. Bakit ba ayaw niya aminin ang mali ng Pilipinas? How do you expect the government to improve if you don’t learn from your mistakes? My gosh.. I’m quite sure if it weren’t Hongkong and the US of A or European countries ang involved eh mas mabilis pa sa alas-kwatro ang apology na yan.

  80. defender says:

    Last time I checked, it wasn’t the Philippine Government that’s asking for Dan Brown to apologize, just some onion-skinned hypersensitive internet idiots.

    Again the country have already offered compensation, expressed how sorry it is and the city of Manila has already officially apologized. That’s more than enough.

    • J.Andres says:

      The last time I checked yes a number politicians demanded an apology. Yes they are idiots but certainly not just some internet trolls.

      PNoy represents the country. And as a representative he should be the one to give the long due apology.

      • defender says:

        First, those are only opinions of those politicians. Unless congress passed a resolution demanding Dan Brown to apologize then it is not the position of the Republic of the Philippines. Know the difference.

        • J.Andres says:

          This is a democratic country. You are invalidating the opinion of the rest of the Filipinos if you believe that they had to pass a resolution to make their opinions valid. Plus I never mentioned “Philippine Government” in my primary comment so don’t mix that kind of mediocre shit with my comment.

  81. jo says:

    What bully? The bottom line here is many HK people died. PNoy should apologized for the bungled rescue attempt, rather than the actions of one rogue cop. If you read again the history of this event, there are so may lapses.

  82. wilde says:

    According to teddy locsin, apologizing is merely having good manners. Why did China apologize for the Pinoy who died from the car bombing? Did it make them weak? Nope. Why are we demanding Japan to apologize to the comfort women? Are we the same with them?

  83. defender says:

    Nope. China have never offcially apologized from the Tianmen car bombing attack. Can you post a link here that says it dies ?

  84. Rene Macafe says:

    should we now ask the chinese government to issue an official apology because a “terrorist act” killed a filipino doctor visiting their country?

  85. mike says:

    countries like china, korea, japan have become so successful in terms of economy and development because they are results oriented. a study conducted by the philippines itself admitted to government negligence and recommended the dismissal of some officials.. this was not done and no soul searching would be enough without action. i believe that if the situation was reversed, hongkong would have done what they have asked the philippines to do without the philippines even asking. a filipino died in a terrorist incident in beijing, while no apology was asked and given, investigation was swift, suspects named and the head of the xinjiang province axed from his job. one of the priority here is to ensure that this does not happen again.. while this action does not give 100% insurance, it does make the succeeding head more careful and vigilant for future incidents. governments can make travel advisories against countries they deem unsafe but it is still up to the person whether they will go or not.. so you can still see americans and chinese here, as anybody will agree that we have some of the best beaches and tourist spots here. but they should still look after the safety of their citizens.. right? so i dont see any connection here with our territorial disputes or anything. this is just one case we blew and so we should apologize

  86. Jackie G. says:

    It’s about time to establish our sovereignty. The to-do list made by HK only goes to show how much they want the Philippines to just be a puppet following their every whim. Diplomacy is never forcing one’s demands inside one’s throat.

    • defender says:

      Exactly. Many people are forgetting the fact that the Philippines already owned up to its lapses by offering condolences and even $75,000 compensation for each victim. What HK want is to further flex its diplomatic muscles to show dominance by threatening a sovereign nation with sanctions if it doesnt issue a formal apology, a move that will make the Philippines vulnerable to international lawsuits and could be used as future legal precedent against the country.

    • Sovereignty? What the hell are you people tslking about? What is it that we even do with our sovereignty anyway? We asked the US to leave and now when we had territorial disputes with China what do we do? Answer me that? Diplomacy is also about knowing our capabilities and allying with the proper nations and playing safe when we need to. Wake up and realize what kind of world we live in.

      • Jackie G. says:

        Sovereignty is one part of what makes a state, if I remember my notes correctly. Independence from intervention of other states when it comes to governing the territory and the people. In my opinion, it’s an aspect we are lacking and it’s time we start establishing it. I partially agree with your understanding diplomacy. But I believe that always playing safe when we need to would never get us out to be the world’s punching bag. If not now, when would be the perfect time? I know that my belief is on the idealistic side and that flexibility is the key to diplomacy. Unfortunately, we cannot always be on the safer side of things. We have to take risks and sacrifices, especially if it will be for the benefit of the future generation.

        • So how will this benefit our future generations? I would lile to think that the biggest income generating factor in our country is ofw remittance. So thats one country less that ofws have a harder time fetting into? Punching bag? Who cares. Does it physically huet us? No. Its just about our pride. Misplaced pride.
          Answer me this, if in the future war came knocking on our door. Would you rather the US had bases here or that hey we’re a sovereign nation we can defend ourselves. Go ahead answer me that in front of our future generations.
          I JUST want people to get real about these issues.

  87. defender says:

    But the Beijing terrorist attack in Tianmen square DID happen again in the SAME place. In 2005, a Filipino tourist was hacked to death in front of his family. And just last month, a Filipina doctor was killed AGAIN in front of her family. China never apologized officially for both incidents nor offered compensation. In fact there was even a news blackout. So what are you talking about ?

    • MMA says:

      True. These admin critics don’t get the point that this is connected with our country’s sovereignty and diplomacy. smfh

  88. Jeff L says:

    i initially thought that President Aquino not giving an apology was just a matter of ego or pride without acknowledging the government’s shortcomings on the handling of the situation until i read this.

    and even my first impression of this article honestly was a case of over analyzing the whole issue, but when i understood that it was HK’s insistence + numerous demands that was being asked of (and if indeed this is accurate), i had to agree that Aquino did the right thing for 2 main reasons/principles:

    1) Apologies should not be demanded, it should be given willfully and sincerely
    2) Furthermore, asking for an apology coupled with a list of do’s & dont’s gives you the impression that the apology is simply lip service to cover a deeper agenda (whatever it may be)

    i may be over simplifying things but if the Philippines truly provided compensation to the families of the victims, that is already a step in line with taking accountability. if HK thinks the offer is unfair or even underestimated, then this can be diplomatically approached and resolved.

    all in all though, i think it is prudent still that Aquino apologize BUT in the correct context (eg. how the PH authorities handled the incident if there were indeed lapses). it shouldn’t be that hard.

    but when one is demanded for an apology and dictated upon on the intent with numerous conditions, then that’s a different story.

  89. Mel NL says:

    Off topic. Joe, i suddenly remembered you after seeing the news about typhoon Yolanda. Are you near Leyte? The news showed the havoc it created. I’m hoping that you’re out of danger together with your family.

  90. So many of us are too caught up with terms like sovereignty, freedom, rights etc. Look where that has taken us. No US bases = harder US visas and well virtually zero defensive capabilities. Imagine a Philippines where US bases exhist? Nice right? Sovereignty? What do we do with that sovereignty anyway? If we are going to take the same approach with China, arguably the next superpower, well too bad for us. Im not saying that we suck up, I’m saying choose our battles and stay away from pinoy tele novela like “oooh inaaapi ako ng mayaman” mentality and be more pragmatic. Let’s face it, we got nothing to baragain with. Let’s play the field.

  91. reign says:

    very detailed and very intellectually written article.

  92. Peter Panopio says:

    A very good article, infact a very interesting topic for Political Debate, proof was the 200 plus comments (and growing!) that divided the Filipino intelectuals and trolls on basically 2 sides, whether to issue an appology or not, plain and simple.
    By the way, both sides have strong merits and it actually took me more time to go through and try to open mindedly comprehend each and every comments, even how obsurd and plain stupid some of the points were.
    I myself, a Filipino that had worked in China and had several Chinese friends, was inclined on the “Pro” appology side. That was because Im looking at it as a human being, compasionate and emotional. As a common person, If I made mistake and my punishment is only an appology and after that all are forgotten, then hell yes, Noynoy was “noynoying” by not just issuing an appology.
    However, Joe America’s article and some well thought comments has brought up a very good arguement, the long term effect of this “Appology”. Bear in mind that it was not Noynoy’s personal appology the Chinese demands, it’s what he represents, and that is the Philippine Government as a whole, including the Filipino people. This issue is not as plain as simple as most of the people think. Some will surely argue that it’s not, but if you think out of the box and if you are familiar with the concept and ethymology of the Games of the General and Chess, you will get the hint. The article is spot on by citing several conditions and ideologies that makes this issue complicated.

    • pinay says:

      Kung ako ay isa sa mga ina, ama, kapatid ng namatay sa nangyari sa Luneta, bilang naulila gagawin kong karapatang humingi ng kapatawaran. Ang tanong ay “personal” rin ba ito at totoong may pagdadalamhati sa mga mambabatas na pilit na humuhingi nito para sa nasasakupan? o tactic at stratehiya lamang?
      As simple as the topic may seem to be, apology for a mistake, faith and morals dictate it’s the right action to do. We give our humility and trust but do we gain theirs? Now it becomes complicated. History warns we might have to be a little if not very cautious in matters beyond cultural borders and even ethical and intuitive understanding and insights.

  93. Glenn says:

    Oh c’mon what a waste of English…majority of Pnoy’s projects are loans from China…tell this to the Pinoy Domestic Helper in HK..tell this to their children who cannot anymore eat or go to school because we don’t want to be at the back of the bus…u may not know this but some of our brothers & sisters would rather be at the back or even under the bus just to support their families..your article will find approval to the rich..but those people don’t even ride the bus..have a heart.

  94. fcuk says:

    crap article… just load of rubbish … typical Filipino approach. no wonder it is a nation of failure and a nation of hopeless that depend on exporting maids and prostitutes for a living

  95. Alas says:

    I believe that Pnoy did the right thing, Erap on the other hand is just looking for pogi points for 2016 election..the guy never stops..my gulay…i wonder if Erap will apologize to South Korea if ever several Koreans got held up in Manila , or to Japan because one of its citizen got hit a speeding car…or apologize to the US because a American got beaten up in Ermita ???

    I think China wants Peace… a piece of this country, a piece of that country and a piece of this side of the Globe…

    we should stand up against this bully

  96. ronald sy says:

    Say what you want but flipinos are a bunch of brown malay savages.

  97. Len Joson says:

    Well-written article. Balanced view. Insightful. Great blog site!

  98. And btw Mr. Writer, in the international arena countries are not equal as you say. Why? There is no one international world government that states that this is a funfamental right not like being a citizen of a nation. UN? Any country can choose to say screw you. In the international arena, there is anarchy my friend so we best decide to play our cards right. Your analogy with black segregation is totally off.

  99. charles rivera says:

    Sorry, not buying this. Here’s why: Reverse natin ang situation. Mga Filipino tourists are taken hostage on a HK bus are shot and killed because HK Police and local gov’t agencies bungled the hostage negotiations and because the media were too greedy not to televise the whole process. To add insult to injury, HK onlookers take photos of the bus and site of the hostage taking like it were a movie set (which students in the Manila area actually did after they took away the bodies), smiling into their cameras with peace signs.

    While this scenario is highly unlikely, one can already predict the way we will howl and wail and curse and gnash our teeth at HK and demand apologies left and right and send a flurry of angry emails to the Chinese gov’t, the UN, and whomever will listen to us. Then, we will wail some more about racism when HK/China takes the same exact hard nosed stance as PNoy does, refusing to admit their faults or apologizing or paying up.

    The problem is, we are experts at being offended, hurt and demanding apologies, and quick to accuse others of being RACISTS (oh, how we love to pull that damn card!). Yet we ourselves behave in exactly the same way towards others. We looooove poking fun at DARK SKINNED people, SINGKIT people, BALD people, BAKLAs, etc. Like teenagers, we claim “plausible deniability” in the face of damning video evidence. It is so effing immature.

  100. its time we stand up for what is right and what we believe in. we are no longer under the Spaniards or the Americans or the Japanese, certainly not under the Chinese either. We have gotten used to bowing to all these nations who we see are “more powerful” which tends to create a culture of submissiveness to foreign intrusions yet defiant on our own rules and acceptable attitudes. everyone should dig deep and hard to change how we see ourselves so that other nations can look at us differently.
    Not to say that we should be so aggressive but rather to be assertive as the way I see the President handling this matter.

  101. Ahsy says:

    The issue here is not RACISM!

    This is a hostage situation that resulted to hostage people being killed, and they are civilian on vacation, tourist who are here to enjoy what the Philippines tourism has to offer. They are here in the Philippines not to mock Filipinos, but to spend hard earned money and enjoy a vacation.

    What the victim’s family where asking are APOLOGY AND JUST COMPENSATION, for the mishandling of the hostage situation. It was clearly seen on all types of media that the then Manila city mayor Alfredo Lim and the police department, and then the President Ninoy Aquino himself did not make this hostage situation a priority red alert matter, but rather just like any other case of city crime.

    In many of the local hostage crisis, the police will settle the situation in not more than half a day. But during this Manila hostage crisis, it was daytime to night time and was not taken as a red alert crisis, but also allow it to become a showmanship in front of the tv cameras for all the authorities involved.

    (If Joe America was the hostage here, I believe it will be a red,red,red alert situation…take down the hostage taker no matter how!!!)

    And in the aftermath of the hostage crisis…the “educated Filipinos” added insult to the situation by taking their pictures in front of the bus and site of the hostage crisis, with matching wide mouth smile and victory sign, then proudly posting it on there facebook accounts. Now, who would wants that kind of insult?

    Now, the question is…Will this become an international politics issue If Pres. Aquino has done the apology and prepare just compensation immediately after the situation?

    This is a show of arrogance by Pres. Aquino, ex-Mayor Alfredo Lim, and all other authorities involved.

    And now, for Mayor Joseph Estrada and Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, are you racist??? Or also, just showing your Filipino Arrogance…asking only the local Chinese businessman to donate for compensations to be given to the hostage victims!

    The apology of Mayor Estrada was a good first step…but to offer compensations which the Manila government could not produce is a pure show of arrogance!!!

    • homerspirit says:

      True. But this will never be resolved because some people refuse to see that Aquino is being too proud even after tourists, guests from foreign countries, have been killed under his watch. It’s actually very simple. The issue here is, yes, not racism or the territorial dispute but being able to admit that there was a grave mistake committed and “guests” were hurt, offended and killed. But I guess you can’t expect anything from an idiot like Noynoy Aquino.

      Plus I think this article was paid for to make Aquino’s false righteousness seem correct. Open your eyes Filipinos.

      • LOLA EDITH says:

        Wow Homerspirit, over 160 ba ang IQ mo to deliberately call our President an idiot? Di kaya ikaw ang idiot who has considered the issue as plain admission of “grave mistake committed”? Di ka pa cguro naging president ng kahit anong organization kaya simple ka lang magisip. I believe that PNoy has already done what was appropriate – expressed regrets to the victims’ families and offered financial remunerations. Bakit pati sa Hongkong government kelangan nya humingi ng apology? There are plenty of Filipina domestic helpers in Hongkong who had been victims of abusive employers… far more than the 8 victims who were killed in the hostage taking. Nevertheless, our government have to consider also our kababayans who are gainfully employed there. It’s always the good of the greater majority that is given priority in decision-making. I’m inclined to believe that you are the idiot one because it seems you have not fully understood Joe America’s article. Read it again and open your mind, not just your eyes. Maraming nakikita ang mata na AYAW intindihin ng utak… tulad ng maduming pag-iisip mo na baka nabayaran lang ang sumulat nito.

      • Person says:

        Tssss. ang baba talaga ng understanding mo sa situation. Please explain how anyone could have predicted that the hostage taker would do something so reckless and rash? Blame ka agad ng presidente, eh, if ikaw si Pnoy, ano ang gagawin mo? Yes, guests were hurt. but ultimately, the government was not responsible. the hostage taker was trained (retired police or something), that’s all the more reason to be careful with the actions that the police should take. plus may TV pa sa bus, so he could clearly see the actions of the police.

        and hindi naman dahil sa pride ang reason kung bakit hindi mag apologize si Pnoy. mag isip ka naman. akala mo ba a simple apology is what China wants? Have you considered what would happen if Aquino apologized? Mag isip ka muna. ang situation ay hindi as simple as pagsosorry. ganyan naman talaga ang politics sa world, mas complicated. dapat i approach mo at different angles, dapat mag consider ka sa lahat ng mga possibilities at mag think outside the box.

        pero i understand naman. Hater ka kase ni Pinoy. :p wag kang bitter kase natalo ang bet mo, hindi si Pinoy bet ko, pero siya na nanalo. so dapat natin siya i support sa pagiging presidente nya. 🙂

    • J.Andres says:

      I couldn’ have said it any better!

      • The Maverick Pinoy says:

        People who has less ability in practicing appropriate and keen observation of literary articles often times will make their own shallow statements and poor judgements. Without an intellectual analysis of the thesis and presentation of the author of this article, will always result of judgement that is oblique and irrelevant to the issue. I believe that the author of this article has thesis and presentation substantial enough to have provided thorough investigative and impartial report of the issue. Kudos to the author! May you continue to exhibit impartial, unprejudiced thorough investigative journalism! God bless you as well.

    • Ric says:

      Of course it’s about racism. When you read comments posted by Chinese people, on any website in the Internet, you will find a clear element of racism in the way they talk about the Philippines and Filipinos. They look down on us. They think they’re better than us. But don’t expect China to ever apologize for the three Filipinos who were hacked to death by a crazed man in Tiananmen Square in 2005, or for the abused maids who die or commit suicide in Hong Kong every year.

      Are you blind, or just Chinese?

    • This blog post is an example of why there has to be an intellectual bar before some people are allowed to publish on the internet. Although eloquent, the author, this Flip blogger who styles himself “Joe America”, displays an utter inability to expound his views by sticking to the facts involved. Sadly, eloquence is not equal to intelligence, therefore expect a lot of Filipino readers to be wowed by this guy simply on the basis of writing style.

      The laundry list of JoeAm’s numbskull statements–

      a) “Certainly, no Philippine official WANTED this tragedy to occur.”

      –well DUH! Who did? So for an apology to materialize, the preceding condition to be met must be that someone in government must’ve willed it to happen? The issue HK is raising is official negligence and incompetence, and for the Philippines to apologize for it. NO, there have been NO apologies, only expressions of regret. Those two are quite different, if you’d care to look it up.

      By declaring that “innocence of motive” excuses any need for an apology, you’re effectively washing your hands off any culpability, despite acknowledging your 3rd World incompetence. Ever heard of the crime of involuntary manslaughter? (eg., when you hit & kill another person while operating factory machinery) People here in the States go to jail for it. Financial recompense is also required by law, set by a judge. No few companies have gone bankrupt from the amount of damages they had to pay for such cases. So JoeAm’s “but I didn’t intend for it to happen” defense is just hogwash. Negligence is negligence, and it requires an apology. In the more than 3 years that the incident has happened, HK has received ZILCH.

      b) “To the extent that there are enduring issues, they pertain more to the relationship between Hong Kong and the Philippines than they do regarding the particulars of what happened.”

      –Wrong again! This is reverse logic. There are festering wounds because the core issues have NOT been resolved. Because the basic requirements that HK has been asking for have not been met: apology, compensation, guarantees of future visitor safety. These are very reasonable requests, yet the Philippine government has been remiss in every single one. Post-tragedy, the HK government immediately paid each victim’s family HK$1M, knowing full well that a creaky 3rd World justice system like that of the Philippines would take forever to process any kind of compensation. Maybe your fµcktard President was assuming that since they’ve been paid, the Philippines doesn’t need to pony up anymore.

      And would you know, someone from the Palace, maybe the presidential spokesperson, said that the Philippine government has not responsibility to protect tourists. Bravo! It’s more fun in your 3rd World country.

      c) “The incident remains hurtful as long as the matter is not laid to rest. The matter is laid to rest in the Philippines, officially, but not in Hong Kong, officially.”

      And why would it be laid to rest by Hong Kongers? The basic conditions of healing have not been initiated! If the police tried to end a crime (say, a bank robbery) that led to collateral damage (eg., bystanders being killed), can the relatives of those bystanders be at peace knowing well the Keystone Kops who bungled the situation are still at large and not held to account? No payment? No sorries? No promises of safety in the future?

      During one of his press conferences, your retarded President said, “do not worry, we’ll get over this…it only takes time.” That’s very typical Filipino, as I’ve observed from the Filipinos I know. [Give it time, don’t do anything, and eventually all will be forgiven and forgotten] Well guess what? Other races are not as historically amnesiac as your kind. A wrong is a wrong, and an accounting of (mis)deeds has to happen before any closure can be achieved.

      d) “One can surmise that if the situation were reversed, Hong Kong officials would take essentially the same position as the Philippines has taken. It is the appropriate stance to take to protect sovereignty and legal rights.”

      You surmise too much, Joe. Given how efficient HK is run, I doubt they’d dilly-dally the way the Philippine government has dilly-dallied for more than 3 years now. A look at how Manila and HK are managed will give you an idea of that contrast. What sovereignty and legal rights are you talking about, pray tell? The only thing that’s been preventing an official apology here is EGO. Presidential ego. That of your Monkey-in-Chief at your Malacanang Palace who has been so balls-licked by his yellow minions he believes he’s beyond reproach. Apologizing and paying up does not equal sovereignty being trampled. As to legal rights, what legal rights are you speaking of? Are you bringing a lawsuit?

      e) Which brings us to another fanciful extrapolation by you, JoeAm: “A neutral observer would argue that the matter should go to an international court for resolution, but no such steps have been taken.”

      –Now why would the HK government need to sue? You yourself stated above: “The facts are clear, the investigations done, the matter understood.” So what is there to sue for? The incident report has been ratified by both sides. It’s the recoursive action that’s been pending and causing so much tension. Are you saying that “if you want payment, you’ll have to sue us for it”? If that’s the case, then HK has every right to take punitive action against your recalcitrant government. You don’t want to play by the global community’s rules, then you will have to face the consequences.

      Now it might sound shocking to a Flip used to government kleptocracy and red tape that whenever a citizen is aggrieved, proper recompense is due him/her from the government. But that’s the way it is in more civilized countries: when the government fµcks up, they pay up. The only thing to argue over is the settlement amount. If you’ve lived in the US, you’re familiar with this.

      f) Joe also makes a breathtaking leap of logical fallacy by linking the circumstances of the maritime disputes with the hostage case. There are NO parallelisms between the two issues, except that they’re matters between the Philippines and China. China was wrong to not join in the ITLOS lawsuit over Scarborough. Were it to present historical evidence vs the Philippines’ historical evidence, it will not be said that they backed down from a legal and proper dispute resolution mechanism.

      But the logical fallacy Joe pulled off with this statement is just laughable: “Hong Kong expects the Philippines to subjugate her national interests to Hong Kong.” What national interests? Saying sorry, we screwed up, here’s the compensation, we’ll make sure it won’t happen next time is “subjugation of one’s sovereign rights and national interests?” In more refined cultures, it’s called manning up enough to say sorry. Are you Flips not man enough to do so?

      g) This statement makes plain what JoeAm is about when he said Estrada is wrong:
      “It establishes a precedence of guilt for future government acts that, through the acts of criminal or unstable minds, end up tragically.”

      HK paid the victims. Even if it couldn’t be faulted for what happened. Even if it exerted efforts to try and help resolve the incident as it happened–efforts which were rebuffed and ignored by your supremely homosexual and incompetent President. Did it mean losing any amount of dignity on their part that they served their citizens? You Flips are good at bringing up the fluffy moral stuff when it suits your end, like when you need to cloud the issue with a chest-beating self-righteousness. But are you really that upright and beyond reproach? A look at the hell that is Philippine national politics will tell you how Flips really manage things.

      And what’s this nonsense BS about dignity and national interests? Let me tell you what national interests involve: a lot of the time, it involves things like economic security, trade flow, GDP, inflation, etc. If HK is pissed off enough to start restricting the flow of your oh-so-precious little maids into their city, then you’ll have a lot of explaining to do to your unemployed Filipinas why they cannot seek proper jobs back home. Now that’d be a direct issue of national concern.

      This article is an exercise in good writing style, but faulty logic. It has twisted the facts and perversed them into an alternate universe of truth, a truth that only confused dolts would readily believe. Nice try, filipino Joe. But try harder. You can convince your ignorant countrymen of your meritless arguments, but not someone who can cut through verbosity and get to the meat of the argument.

      • IgnorantChinks says:

        You know, I’d post a detailed response to your hate carnival, but that would be giving you more attention than you deserve.

        So you think you’re someone who can “cut through verbosity and get to the meat of the argument”? I dunno. From your display name onwards, you seem to be more of a hate-filled ignoramus more interested in repeatedly insulting Filipinos than anyone intelligent.

        You seem to think you’re some kind of paragon of virtue, but phrases like “your oh-so-precious little maids” showcase arrogance and your utter lack of concern for other human beings (except maybe for those who are Chinese). So you think it’s okay to punish some innocent maids who have nothing to do with the mess because you don’t get your little apology and excessive financial compensation? Cool story, animal.

        Anyway, Joe America is a real American who happens to live in the Philippines, regardless of what your minuscule Chinese brain would like to delude itself into believing. He probably won’t respond to you, since he has better things to do than waste time with spiteful troglodytes. Have fun suffocating in your hate, chink.

  102. jtan says:

    equating civil liberties with international politics???? you may have the right intention but the analogy is ridiculous.

    also, national pride? who do you think is backing PNoy nowadays against China? Philippine Armed Forces?

    And this is what PNoy thinks of people who aren’t his friends:

    “”Yung Tacloban, hesitant lang ako. Para bang hindi ganun ka prepared…compared to other areas…Siguro I will reserve comments muna at this point in time hangang mas makumpleto natin yung datos,” the President said in a briefing at the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC)”

    I bet you, if this happened to American tourists, it’d be a different story.

  103. Marilou Tojon says:

    Hello guys! Hello Philippines! Did you guys know what happened to Tacloban City, Leyte? Did you see how Filipino reacts at the aftermath of the disastrous typhoon… You know what I mean re the looting and attack of Red Cross relief goods?

    Did the Americans act that way after the Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 and Japanese earthquake & tsunami last 2011? I would understand a normal human being would react that way for survival. But did you guys know that Pres. PNoy walked out of the briefing at Tacloban City.

    Today, your president walked out of a briefing with local and national officials here over frustration with the level of response to typhoon Yolanda. He interrupted Brig Gen Jet Belarmino, commander of the Army’s 8th infantry division, while he was speaking and then walked out. The briefing, which took place at the city police station, was attended by local officials, military officers as well as by Cabinet Secretaries like Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Transportation and Communications Secretary Jun Abaya, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, among others. – WE WERE NOT SURPRISE!

    • rey says:

      will you be surprised that there are reports of looting after hurricane katrina? http://www.nbcnews.com/id/9131493/

    • Neltz says:

      I think, only the earthquake in Japan that people didn’t loot.
      Americans did loot during Katrina

    • Person says:

      What would you have done if you were in their shoes? Or perhaps, they were barefooted (not the point). What I’m saying is, their human instincts probably kicked in. The need to survive. At some point, it was justifiable, but somehow it went too far. The looting of the relief goods was too much, the ones who did that should face consequences. Because of their selfish actions, they have endangered the lives of thousands. But the president responded to this situation. He announced Martial Law, and that was a good call. The city needs to be placed in order. And when the president walked out, he did the right thing. If his head was hot, then it was right of him to cool off. Remember, HE IS THE PRESIDENT. He should make decisions with a cool head, so that he can think clearly and properly make decisions. Just saying. 🙂

    • mhine me says:

      sana tinanong nyo sa mga naiwan kung bakit sya umalis.. president need to act and not just to sit around.. kaya nga dinala nya ang mga gabinete nya para pd nya puntahan ang ibang lugar.. hindi lang po kasi tacloban ang napinsala.. and as a busy as he is.. marami po sya schedule… sana inalam nyo muna.. maybe then you will be surprise..

  104. Neltz says:

    No matter how we look at the issue, both are right and wrong.

    but for my opinion, the issue is being used to know who is really dominant and who should obey. To determine the limit of the Philippines because they assume that they (Hong Knong) are dominant in terms trade, tourists, and allies

    Racism will never get out of the question because of the sensitivity of the emotions of Chinese. I think because of the trauma brought by the bloody colonization it encountered (Japanese occupation, etc.). Moving to the present time, they just want to be acknowledged as a dominant race far from how other countries treated them 70+ years ago.

    Some would say they are not racist. But would they treat a Filipino worker in Hong Kong equally? Would they talk to a Filipino bearing in mind that they are also a human being? That just like them (the Chinese), they have also the right to exist as a human being? That they are not the one who killed the tourists? I don’t know… In front of the media, I guess?

    Same goes to the Filipinos. We can be a and act as a racist but we usually don’t because we are living in a diverse group of people. Multiple race.

    I know that I’m taking my opinion far from the main topic but this also add to the mentality that if they bow in front of you, everybody will. Maybe because of the opportunistic traits….

    And if the government do apologize, what’s next? Peace? I don’t know. Because for them (the Chinese), it’s not that easy to forget.

  105. I didnt feel proud to be a filipino after reading your comments. It just goes to show how immature alot of us still are. We still havent escaped the whole colonial mentality. Everytime we think our freedom is being threatened, we cry like babies. This is reflected in our tele novelas that often show conflict between the rich and the poor. It is also reflected in government being biast for labor making it very difficult for small businesses, an economic driving force, to grow. Its sad because we dont realize that we cannot beat China, a giant, in its own game. Did David beat Goliath by showing up with a sword and shield? No. He beat Goliath in a different game. Long range warfare. And why is China bullying us? Because they know that we would act this way. Like a child crying “its not fair its not fair!” We cant even fix our own government and we’re not mature enough to admit it? I wish we all realize what kind of world we live in. Its more like the TV show Survivor where players have to ally with other players to get far. If weaker players stand alone against stronger players, they would lost likely get booted out. The bottom line is, the lot of you remind of whining babies. Suck it up, apologize and beat them somewhere down the road.

  106. Person says:

    Racism and basically discrimination will always be present. You can’t deny the fact that China clearly looks down on us Filipinos. And don’t fvcking tell me I’m wrong when I say China is becoming a bully. Some people don’t see the possible consequences of certain actions. BE REALISTIC. LIFE ISN’T FAIR. THE WORLD DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT. You don’t just say I’m sorry, that won’t happen again, I will follow what you say, without receiving repercussions in the future. One of you brings up David and Goliath. David didn’t beat Goliath at his own game, he outsmarted him. But the bottom line is, HE STOOD HIS GROUND AND DEFIED GOLIATH. I find it ironic on how you tell us that we shouldn’t cry like pussies but you tell us to apologize and succumb to what these bullies want. IF YOU THINK THAT A SIMPLE APOLOGY IS ALL THAT THEY WANT, THEN YOU NEED TO OPEN YOUR EYES. What exactly has China become today? It has become a bully, it has become POWER HUNGRY AND VERY AGGRESSIVE. IT CLAIMS EVERYTHING IT WANTS. IT FEARS NO ONE. BOWING DOWN TO THEM WILL ONLY STRENGTHEN THEIR MENTAL IMAGE OF THEMSELVES. THEY THINK THEY ARE AT THE TOP. AND SO THEY ACT LIKE IT AND SPIT OUT OUR FACES AND THEY MIGHT AS WELL TELL ALL OF US TO SCREW OFF. Be more realistic. I’m not saying we should fight against them, no, no, of course not. (That’s fvcking crazy. They probably possess the strongest military force or even equal to that of America). WE SHOULD STAND UP AGAINST THEM. The Politics in this world is very complex. Some things may look or sound simple, but NO. They are far from it. Presidents have to make decisions not only for the short term, but as well as for the long term. This isn’t immaturity, or overacting if we sense that our freedom is at stake. Or maybe it is, partially. Not completely. But if you consider a lot of things and think outside the box, Then you will realize that things really aren’t that simple. 🙂

  107. Mark says:

    Hong Kong holds that the Philippine government was negligent in how officials handled the situation, resulting in unnecessary deaths. Hong Kong demands an official apology from the Philippine government, cash payments to families, punishment of officials in charge, and clear steps to assure a repeat will not occur.
    – As an ordinary citizen of the Philippines. Letting my pride down, and look into the situation. and understand every bit of what had happened, I strongly agree with the statement above because it defines us how ineffective and reckless our actions was, that have taken a lot of innocent hongkong tourist lives..Kahit hindi tayo ang gumawa ng hostage taking at kahit hindi tayo ang police na hindi gumawa ng epektibong hakbang sa pangyayari, tayo pa rin ang dapat humingi ng tawad sa pamilya ng mga biktima dahil nasa ating bansa nangyari ang insedente. kung baga sila ay bisita sa ating bahay kaya dapat natin silang alaga.an at kung may mangyaring masama sa kanila ay ating pananagutan dahil nakakahiya naman na parang wla tayong pakialam sa mga bisita para tayong mga walang mabuting asal! maramot! makasarili! kahit pag hingi ng tawad ay hindi natin magawa? ano ba tayo? tayo ay tao lang! wla tayong karapatan na maging isang bakal! bakit ba tayo sumusonod sa mga prinsipyo ng ating mga hindi mapagkatiwala.ang mga politiko? lalo na ang ating pangulo! bakit? perpekto ba sya? wala ba syang kasalanan? karapatdapat ba sya nating edolohin? dahil nagtatagalog sya tuwing nag tatalumpati? mga kaibigan wala pong mabuting tao sa politika..pare pareho lang po silang lahat kaya wag po tayong sumangayon agad2 sa mga desistyon nila..hindi natin alam ang mga taong yan at hindi natin alam baka pa sila ang nag dala satin dito sa pilipinas ng kamalasan! bakit sa panahon ngayon na sya ang ating lider ay sunod sunod na ang masasamang pangyayari! baka isi numpa sa kamalasan ang pamumuno nya at tayo ay nadamay lang. mag isip isip po ilang beses na po akong muntik na mamatay dahil sa mga calamities at sa tingin ko nangyayari ang sunod sunod na calamies na ito ay dahil sa isinumpa ng kamalasan ang ating pinuno. Malinis tingnan at pakinggan pro hindi natin alam kung ano ang nasa likod ng kanyang nka nganga na mukha! wag po tayong mka siguro baka curse po sya at kanyang pamilya sa lipunan, bka nadamay lang po tayo. salamat po

  108. jabez2010 says:

    Thank you for the enlightening write-up and analysis.

  109. Myrna says:

    This horrible and tragic event was apalling .But nobody could have predicted it.It can happen anywhere. Move on.Are you (Hk) going to drag this forever?

  110. Dr. James Vargas DMD says:

    Simple answer to that very ambiguous question.Dont say “Sorry”. To China but say we feel so sorry for the victims as incident like this can never be predicted as always. We are strong and we are firm in our belief of righteousness and let them say otherwise. I salute you President Aquino!

    • simon says:

      Salute it is…. salute to someone who did not take care of the corruption problem which lead to this tragedy. No one ask Phil government to say sorry to China government. Phil government should say sorry because the mishandling of the situation that caused more death than what is should.

  111. 100 people died whenever Chinese national smuggled drugs in the Philippines did the Chinese authorities ask for apology? For humanitarian reason I would say sorry it happened accidentally, The family of the victims deserved an apology, but not to the Chinese government officials, that’s what they want . Let’s call it quits.

    • simon says:

      Do you think any drug smugglers can survive without the drug dealers here in Philippines.
      Don’t just blame on Chinese whenever there is a problem. If there were no drug dealers in China, there will be no Opium War. Imagine what the 8 nations who exported opium to China did to China at that time. Can we blame them?

      • Ric says:

        I doubt most Chinese will agree with you. They are too busy blaming foreigners for all of China’s problems.

      • Christy A. says:

        Are you pinoy or otherwise? Or may be you’re one of those pinoys who have the slave mentality that because of inferiority complex would rather put their own brothers/sisters down than be strong enough to work through the bullshit and look at the world more objectively and maturely. I hope that you’re not a pinoy.

        I somehow never understand why China/Hong Kong does it to those who they think are lesser than they are (Vietnam, Philippines) and even to those a lot better than they are (Japan, US). Japan and South Korea never do these to our government. And yet, those under Chinese have a problem living with other people who aren’t like them.

        And of among East Asian nations, it is China/HK that has the loudest cries whenever they’re accused of doing something terrible, by always exhibiting their victim mentalities. Japan and South Korea have moved on in spite of their bitter pasts. Why can’t the Chinese nations do the same? Because you’re more special than the rest? Lose the holier than art thou mindset and start to mature yourselves as a society. This can also be said of others who have inflated egos that tend to bully anyone out of their irrationality. Good luck with that.

  112. Russell says:

    Help each other is the theme we need. Although looting is bad in the eyes of the right, when one is hungry No one is right or wrong. Let law be behind for the meantime, feed the hungry. The government must send the basic needs of people in Tacloban. Send the help from the air not by land because of the devastating roads, prayers is great !!

  113. SONNY says:


    • simon says:

      It highly depending on the ability of resolving situation like this?
      Do you think the SWAT team of China will be the same as PNP SWAT team?
      On the other hand… what will happen if the victims are Americans?
      Will the president react the same way? Personally…. I think NOT.

      • Ric says:

        You are evading the question. If the situation were reversed and Filipinos were killed in China, would China apologize?

        We do not need to hypothesize, because that has already happened, and the answer is no. Even without including all the OFWs who are abused and killed or commit suicide out of despair in China.

        In 2005, Mr. and Mrs. Madrigal, husband and wife, were stabbed to death in Tiananmen Square. Just a few days ago on Oct. 28, 2013, a Filipina was killed in the car crash/terrorist attack in Tiananamen Square (again). China has not apologized for either incident.

  114. DAS RACIST! says:

    The writer of this article claims that Hong Kong and China are racist (and alludes to Jim Crow segregation type of racism) towards the Philippines throughout the negotiations.

    How is it racist to ask for an apology from a country who has already admitted that their handling of bus hostage was terrible?

    Please stop throwing around the word “racist” and actually start using your brain to think about the whole event.

    • Ric says:

      You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about, so here, educate yourself.


      Let me quote some paragraphs from Philip Bowring’s column in the South China Morning Post, which you would do well to read in full.

      1. “On the subject of which, when did you last hear a president of China apologising for anything, even for mass-scale crimes committed against the Chinese people, let alone for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood or of Filipino tourists in Tiananmen Square? Presidential and similar apologies are reserved for extreme cases of criminality directed by the government itself.”

      2. “Presidents do not apologise for non-criminal blunders by officials. Do American presidents issue personal apologies when foreigners get accidentally killed in a shoot-out involving law enforcement officers? Here in Hong Kong, has the chief executive apologised for the deaths of 36 people in the Lamma ferry disaster, deaths caused in part, according to the inquiry, by government failures to enforce its regulations on boat construction and safety features?”

      Let’s be honest. If this exact same situation had happened in the US, for example, would HK be demanding an apology from the Americans? No, you wouldn’t. But you see fit to demand an apology (and compensation, and punishment for the “perpetrators”) because you think the Philippines is weak. You would not dare to do this against a stronger country.

      Maybe YOU should start using your brain for once.

      • Ugh says:

        Thank God someone really understood the matter at hand. Really, other people commenting on this blog don’t know much about wht they’re talking about. The country has a lot of problems right now and all the people do is blame the government for it.

        I love this comment! Thanks! Really made my night. At least someone is really thinking!

        • Ric says:

          Thank you! Sadly, things will probably get worse before they get better, as these Chinese get more and more arrogant every day and they see us as easy targets.

          Our government might end up giving in to Hong Kong’s blackmail tactics, again, just like we did with the Taiwanese.

          Or to be more exact, after the bus hostage crisis we already offered an apology and compensation, yet they rejected it and demanded even more. If we apologize and offer compensation again this time, the arrogant Chinese will believe that we gave in to their threats (when the real reason is that we did it simply because it is the right thing to do).

          Therefore, giving in here will only convince the Chinese, whether Hong Kong or Mainland China or Taiwan, that their blackmail tactics are effective. It will only encourage them to make even more threats, even more unreasonable demands on us. Because they think we are weak and they like to pick on the weak.

  115. bebot says:

    Those who commented that PNoy should have apologized to Hongkong for the hostage incident must have a deep introspection on their nationalistic / patriotic spirit or most probably they don’t know the meaning of nationalism / patriotism. If they prefer to support Hongkong, they should live in Hongkong, not to return at all to the Philippines, if they can’t show any love for our country, can’t uphold the dignity of our country and can’t support in fighting our corner for our territorial rights, THESE PEOPLE SHOULD GET LOST. SOD OFF. YOU ARE THE SCUM OF THE PHILIPPINES. YOU SHOULD NOT BE CALLED FILIPINOS AT ALL. YOU DON’T DESERVE IT

    • Christy A. says:

      Damn right you are! These netizens sucking Chinese’ dicks are pathetic beyond belief. Even though Aquino isn’t perfect, and though I have so many issues with him in terms of responding with relief goods for those poor victims, I admire him on the fact that he isn’t pussy enough to give in to Hong Kong government’s bullying tactics which reminds me so much of any other colonial masters we had in the past.

      The Philippines need to grow some balls. And stop sucking into colonial/ slave mindset/ mentality. We need to defend ourselves against another upcoming colonial superpower – or the same will be repeated as in the past. Who knows that they’d make us speak Chinese now eh? So you netizens like that? Or even worse, they’d probably only serve those who are Chinese like them or are their arse kissers. And even when we kiss their arses, they’d still call us dogs. In the end, you netizens who whine about how the president isn’t apologetic should look into it real hard.

  116. Tina Sy-Du says:

    Oh Really, China is not superior to Philippines? Since when? HK is asking only the leader to apologize, not the whole country. Erap’s experience as a Mayor, Senator, Vice President and President cannot be compared to somebody who’s lived a pampered life. Erap did it thinking for the welfare of Filipinos. Never underestimate a man with good intentions. Kung magmamalaki pala tayo, bakit tayo nangangamuhan sa ibang bansa? Nakapatay ka na ikaw pa pipili kung pano ka parusahan??? Aminado pala sa pagkakamali,nasan na hustisya? Ano ba tunay na kahulugan ng PANANAGUTAN? May I ask the true meaning of responsibility and liability? They lost 8 lives. By right, the apology should have been given without asking.

    Sana hindi ka na kumandidato. Sana hindi ka pumayag na ipapanalo (presidente agad-agad). Di sana hindi ka nahihirapan ngayon.

    I am not blaming you because I hate you. In fact, my whole family supported you. But for the majority of all the Chinese and Filipino people in the world, you are wrong. Natatakot na ako makapunta sa HongKong dahil baka ibato sa mukha ko passport ko. Sovereignty, pero hindi mahandle ang hostage taking??? Habang nagmamatigas ang bansa, nakikiusap naman mga kababayan na mkpasok ng trabaho. Anong buhay ito? Ito ba ang ipinaglaban nyo sa EDSA?

    Naliliitan ba kayo sa China?

    NPA nga hindi nyo masugpo, yun pa kayang mas maraming komunista…

    Panindigan nyo yan!

    (Grabe, pano pa kaya kung first world country tayo)

  117. bebot says:

    @ Tina Sy-Du

    Who ever said that China is not superior to Philippines- everybody knows that China is superior to Philippines in terms of economy and military but it does not give China the right to occupy our country’s territorial waters. Who ever said China is a small country? I have never read in any comments here that laid out that perspective. Your have a gargantuan figment of imagination, a fantastic weaver of distorted views

    You opined Hongkong is just asking the leader to apologize, not the whole country – I don’t think you know what your talking about. What planet are you in? Hey, get a life.

  118. Frank says:

    Excellent article, bravo!

  119. rrcagz2013 says:

    It was Mayor Fred Lim’s fault, and mostly the Aquino Administration’s fault. And second, why don’t you explain this to Gregorio Mendoza, who steadfastly laid the blame on Mayor Lim, Magtibay, the Deputy Ombudsman, Pres. Aquino? He willingly apologized to the survivors and relatives of the victims and also the Hong Kong government. Gregorio Mendoza did it of his own volition. Why? He is the brother of the hostage taker. And that incident was the factor in Lim’s defeat in the 2013 mayoral elections.

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