IIRC: PNP chief, gov’t officials, media must face charges over botched rescue
By Thea Alberto
Yahoo! Southeast Asia
(UDPATE 3) President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has named several people who might face administrative and criminal charges over the botched rescue of foreign tourists during the Quirino hostage crisis.
In a press conference, Aquino said that based on the recommendations of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) led by the Department of Justice, among those recommended to be charged were former Philippine National Police Chief Jesus Verzosa; PNP’s Chief Superintendent Rolando Magtibay; NCRPO chief Leocaldo Santiago; DILG Usec Rico Puno; Senior Superintendent Orlando Yebra; the head of the SWAT team; Ombudman Merceditas Gutierrez; a Deputy Ombudsman; News anchors Erwin Tulfo and Mike Rogas; and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Vice Mayor Isko Moreno; and some officials from three TV news networks.
Aquino said he has ordered a review of the report so appropriate charges would be filed. Some of those named in the report face possible administrative and criminal charges.
“The report is recommendatory in nature. I have forwarded it, and its recommendations, to a legal team composed of the Executive Secretary and the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel to make a thorough review of the IIRC’s recommendations,” said Aquino in a press conference.
“I want to emphasize that I do not want make decisions regarding such important matters without a thorough review. I will study their findings upon my return, and decide accordingly,” added Aquino, who is set to leave for U.S. Monday night.
Aquino said the Philippines already sent a copy of the report to the Chinese Ambassador [Liu Jinchao] but has yet to receive any feedback.
The President added China has been “helpful in trying to resolve this crisis” and that Philippines opted to give them the report before it was made public in the Philippines “lest we further strain our relationships.”
In a separate interview with the Chinese Embassy, spokesman Ethan SunYi said they have not received the report as of Monday afternoon.
Aquino said the report “represents a significant and necessary step” as he ordered the upgrade of capabilities of the local government units and the PNP to ensure there will be no repeat of the deadly hostage.
“We are committed to implementing the necessary changes to upgrade the capabilities of our local government units, police and security forces, to ensure the safety of the public. We have also been working to review and improve our procedures and protocols for emergency and crisis situations and a draft of a new crisis management manual is now being prepared,” said Aquino.
Aquino received the 82-page Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report last Friday.
Critics earlier hit the government after reports the IIRC result would first be submitted to China before it would be made public in the Philippines.
On August 23, eight tourists from Hong Kong were killed after a 12-hour hostage drama staged by disgruntled policeman Rolando Mendoza who asked for his reinstatement.
Reposted From Thea Alberto Of Yahoo! Southeast Asia