HONG KONG – The Philippine delegation investigating the hostage tragedy here concluded a five-day probe yesterday with statements from the survivors and a commitment from the Hong Kong police to help in the ballistics tests.
Assistant State Prosecutor Cielito Celi, Superintendent Lorlie Arroyo, Supt. Reynaldo de Guzman, and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) officers Danielito Lalusis and Perla Landicho spent a week in Hong Kong gathering additional information on the Aug. 23 bloodbath that led to the death of eight Chinese tourists.
The team went straight to the Organized Crime and Trial Bureau headquartered in Wan Chai upon arriving here Monday.
The Hong Kong police gave the team copies of the survivors’ written statements and the three mobile phones of the hostage-taker, which were mistakenly given to them. They also confirmed that they will assist Philippine authorities in the ballistic examination.
Celi told reporters that all the information they gathered, including those pertaining to the ballistic tests, will be brought to Manila.
The investigators also met Amy Leung Ng Yau-woon at the Tuen Mun Hospital.
Leung lost her husband and two daughters during the hostage crisis while her son Jason Leung Song-xue, who sustained a serious head injury, is still fighting for his life.
Celi said their meeting with Leung, who was aided by a psychologist and an interpreter, was emotional.
The investigators also met Li Yick-biu and Li Fung-kwan – who were released early on at the height of the hostage crisis – at the Wan Chai Police Station, and Joe Chan Kwok-chu – who sustained a gunshot on his waist – at the Prince of Wales Hospital.
The prosecutor noted that they did not look for particular information during their meetings with survivors since all information coming from them could help in the investigation.
“Whatever information gathered from their statement will be sent to Manila,” Celi said, noting that the Hong Kong Police arranged their meetings with the survivors. “They were the ones who made effort to come out with the things we needed for the investigation.”
The Hong Kong Police said they are actively investigating the case but did not provide any detailed information to the media.
“After the coroner has ordered autopsies on the eight victims in the hostage-taking incident in Manila and requested the police investigation into the incident, the Hong Kong Police are now actively investigating the case,” the Police Public Relations Branch (PPRB) said in an e-mail.
Meanwhile, three of the victims – Wong Tze-lam, his wife Yeung Yee-wa and sister-in-law Yeung Yee-kam – were laid to rest yesterday at the Tribute Garden in Fanling.
A memorial service was offered last Thursday night for the three hostage victims at the Universal Funeral Parlor in Hung Hom. Chief Executive Donald Tsang and Chief Secretary Henry Tang paid their respects.
The victims’ close relatives and friends appealed to the media to allow them to grieve in private. “We appreciate the support everyone has given us since the incident. Yet we hope that just our families and friends attend the ceremony,” the victims’ relatives were quoted in the local newspapers as saying.
The Wong couple’s two children – Tracey, 15, and Jason, 12 – survived the tragedy after being freed by the hostage taker.
source phil star