Aquino calls for end to Facebook bashing


MANILA: Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday appealed for a stop to government bashing over a hostage crisis that left eight foreigners dead, but his Facebook plea triggered more condemnation.

Aquino’s official Facebook page, which he had set up to promote transparency in government, has been swamped with angry comments, from barbs against bungling policemen to calls for him to quit.

“We have heard and read a lot of opinions from the public, even from foreigners that were affected,” Aquino said on Facebook.
“We appeal on everyone to stop needless arguments. Let us show everyone that we, Filipinos, know how to respect and understand.” The message triggered varied replies on the page, with some expressing support but many others dismissing it outright.

“Shame on you and your government. Tender your resignation now,” wrote Elfis Lee, a Hong Kong resident.

“Your incompetence of leading your untrained stupid police force caused such a tragedy.” Jay Rodrigo apologised on behalf of Filipinos, but had strong words about his feelings towards Aquino, who won the presidency by a landslide in May but whose popularity now appears to be taking a direct hit from the tragedy.
“You see, our president is a retard who has done nothing but smirk in front of the TV cameras after all that has happened,” he replied on the page.

“He’s slowly killing our country coz of his stupidity.” An ex-policeman seized a bus-load of 22 Hong Kong tourists and three Filipinos Monday, triggering a 12-hour face-off that ended in a bloodbath following a police assault.

Aside from the gunman, eight tourists were killed, triggering angry comments from Hong Kong and a travel ban on the country.
It also put the spotlight on longstanding problems with the Philippine police force, which admitted to blunders in handling the crisis.

The Internet-savvy Aquino, 50, used social networking sites to promote his anti-corruption campaign and vows of full transparency in the run-up to the election.

His official Facebook page has 1.94 million fans. – AFP

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