On photos of police, civilians smiling in front of hostage bus: Malacañang asks Pinoys to "respect place of grief"
Screencap from Facebook fan page Manila Hostage-Taking (2010)
Widely spreading among social networking sites like Facebook right now are photos of police officers, students and civilians posing for souvenir snapshots near the tourist bus at the Quirino Grandstand, the site of the hostage tragedy on August 23. Unang Hirit also caught on video some civilians laughing and having their photos taken near the bus at around 1 a.m. on August 25. The report said people have gone to the site to light candles and offer flowers for the deceased hostage victims.
Unang Hirit video: Tourist bus at Quirino Grandstand continues to attract people
Gabriela Representative Luzviminda Ilagan slammed the souvenir photos, telling Sun.Star Manila, "It is an affront not just to the victims and their families but to Hong Kong nationals who are now extremely angry over how the police handled the situation. It is adding insult to injury."
Sun.Star Manila also reports that presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda asked Filipinos to respect the site of the hostage crisis. "Our request is for you not to trivialize the area... Let’s not try to belittle the incident. It’s a place of grief, let’s respect that."
According to Unang Hirit, the bus was supposed to be moved on August 25 but it was postponed because groups conducting parallel investigations on the hostage crisis are not yet done. The Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) is already finished with its investigation.