MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino on Saturday said he is likely to adopt most of the recommendations by a fact-finding body to charge top officials over a hostage fiasco that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.
The government's official response to the recommendations by the Incident Investigating and Review Committee (IIRC) into the bungled hostage rescue will be announced next week, amid mounting public pressure for his fledgling administration to act on the report.
"We're going to release the action plan, the implementation plan, sometime mid of next week," Aquino told reporters.
"Most of it (recommendations) will be adopted," he said, when asked if any of the panel's recommendations would be acted upon.
The report, completed two weeks ago and partially released, recommended either administrative or criminal charges be filed against about a dozen people for lapses related to the fiasco.
A former national police chief and other senior police officials, an undersecretary of the interior, the mayor of Manila and two broadcasters were among those named in the report.
Aquino however conceded that the recommendations only asked for administrative or criminal charges, and that his officials were finalizing a detailed response.
"(We need to know) what specific laws were broken, what are the penalties and what is the process to be followed, and that is what we have been going over since yesterday," Aquino said.
A sacked police officer seized a busload of Hong Kong tourists in central Manila on August 23 in a desperate bid to get his job back and be cleared of extortion charges.
Eight of the tourists and the hostage taker were killed when ill-prepared police commandos launched a rescue attempt riddled with errors in a drama played out live on television.
While the report concluded that the victims were all killed by the gunman, it also said "incompetence and negligence" on the part of the police contributed to the bloody conclusion.
The report also faulted three television networks for airing the entire hostage drama live that could have added to the agitation of the gunman.
Phil. Daily Inquirer