MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo on Tuesday called for a swift, thorough and honest investigation of the August 23 hostage crisis in Rizal Park.
In his homily in the ecumenical prayer service at the Quirino Grandstand, Pabillo said there should be "no whitewash, no scapegoat" in the investigation of the bloody hostage incident that left 8 Hong Kong tourists dead.
Pabillo also prayed for "new life" for the fatalities and the survivors of the hostage incident.
Among those who attended the unity memorial service were Chinese Ambassador Liu Jianchao, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. President Benigno Aquino's sister, Viel Aquino Dee, also attended the service.
Despite a heavy downpour, a delegation from the Buddhist Monastery from Taiwan also joined the ecumenical prayer service at Quirino Grandstand. The Most Venerable Hsin Ting initiated a Buddhist ceremony at the spot where the hijacked tourist bus was parked last August 23.
Philippine and Hong Kong officials have assured that the hostage incident will not strain ties despite a Hong Kong travel ban to the Philippines.