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No charges for officials over Manila bus hijack

10-12-2010 20:27 BJT Special Report:HK Tourists Held Hostage in Manila |

The Philippine government is defending its position to file only administrative sanctions, not criminal charges, against civil and police officials over their handling of a deadly bus hijacking in Manila. The incident led to the death of eight Hong Kong tourist.

The inquiry panel of the August 23rd hostage crisis recommended that criminal charges be filed against Manila's mayor and four police officers. But President Benigno Aquino's legal team ignored most of the recommendations, and say they should only face administrative cases.

Eduardo de Mesa, Chief of Presidential Legal Counsel, said, "As I said, mistake in judgment is not a crime. In most cases, what was committed by them was mistake or error in judgment, or negligence, failure to do their duties, which is administrative in nature."

Pressured to improve government accountability, Aquino faces criticism for clearing the officials from criminal liability.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Eduardo de Mesa says if the victims' families think otherwise, they can file civil or criminal cases against those they believe to be liable.

De Mesa says top civil and police officials are under close observation.

Eduardo de Mesa, Chief of Presidential Legal Counsel, said, "Their overall performance are being evaluated. And actually, everyone's performance is being evaluated to determine whether or not they deserve to stay in their position"

Two journalists who interfered in the police actions and three major TV networks were also spared from criminal charges.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: CNTV.CN

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