Aug. 23 - Filipino president regrets bus hijacking, but stops short of apologising. Julie Noce reports.
Philippines President Benigno Aquino said although he regrets the handling of a deadly bus hijack one year ago, he could not apologise for it. Aquino made the remarks during a news conference on the one year anniversary of the botched rescue attempt. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO III SAYING: "We deeply regret what has transpired. Apology connotes that the State did them grievous harm, I don't think that is correct. This was the act of one man, the same token as some of our citizens have been affected elsewhere in the world, we do not blame the entire population." On August 23 last year, a former police officer, disgruntled over losing his job, took over a tourist bus filled with Chinese tourists, and demanded his job back. For hours, the world watched a live broadcast of the unfolding events... and the subsequent failed attempt by Filipino police to intervene without the loss of life. Nine people were killed in the incident, including the gunman. One year on, families of the victims remember their loved ones at a ceremony in Manila. Police say, they've made improvements and learned some tough lessons. (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino) MANILA POLICE SUPERINTENDENT ROBERTO RONGAVILLA, SAYING: "There's been a lot of change. For one, we realized that there were lapses, and there were lessons learned. There are a lot of things that we are correcting, and there have been a lot of improvements." An investigation into the hijacking by the Filipino government showed poor planning on the part of the hostage negotiators and police. Julie Noce, Reuters