Mayor Joseph Estrada of Manila left for Hong Kong on Tuesday to personally apologize for the shooting incident at the Luneta Grandstand three years ago that left eight Chinese tourists dead.
“We want to express our deepest regret for that unfortunate incident. We want to maintain a good relationship with Hong Kong, we have been trading with them for centuries,” Estrada said.
The mayor was accompanied Manila Councilor Bernie Ang, who arranged the meeting with the victims’ families, and some Hong Kong officials.
The two Manila executives boarded Philippine Airlines flight PR318 taking an undisclosed amount of money as compensation for the victims’ families.
“Let’s admit our fault. Eight innocent vacationers died so we must apologize,” Estrada stressed.
He stressed that President Benigno Aquino 3rd had nothing to do with his actions saying, “it is purely local.”
Meanwhile, Malacanang said it did not prevent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada from going to Hong Kong and extending an apology over the 2010 Manila hostage crisis.
Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Estrada’s decision was a local government initiative and did not have the go-ahead of Malacañang.
“We certainly hope it will contribute to the national government’s efforts to achieve closure and a mutually satisfactory conclusion,” Lacierda told reporters.
He likewise denied reports that Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras is joining Estrada on the trip.