MANILA Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada vowed Thursday that the 2010 Luneta hostage crisis would never occur again, saying authorities have learned so much from the incident that had tarnished the relationship between Hong Kong and Manila.
Estrada joined Buddhist monks on Wednesday at the road fronting Quirino Grandstand praying for the souls of eight foreign tourists–six Hong Kong nationals, one Canadian and one British–who perished along with hostage-taker Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza on August 23, 2010 in an incident that lasted eight hours.
The debacle hounded the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, which has put the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the island in jeopardy for days after the crisis situation.
Estrada, however, worked tirelessly to restore the good relationship between Hong Kong government and Manila. “This will happen in my time. If it does, we are ready to contain it,” he said.
Joining the mayor was Councilor Bernie Ang who was instrumental in bringing a Hong Kong contingent November last year.
China promised to honor the dead victims of the Luneta tragedy every July 14 of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the start of the Ghost Month, which is similar to All Saints Day for the Catholics.
Ang explained that July 14 this year coincides with August 27 of the Gregorian calendar, thus the Day of Prayer yesterday.
The Manila City Council passed Resolution 147 series of 2013 providing for the observance of the Day of Prayer at Luneta.