What about the Filipinos killed in Tiananmen Square?

By Ma. Rosanna Mina – The killing of 2 Filipinos in China in 2005 is the subject of e-mails, blogs and online forums amid Hong Kong’s sorrow and rage over the Manila bus siege which claimed the lives of 8 Hong Kong tourists last August 23.

On April 19, 2005, 25-year-old Wang Gongzuo of China killed Emmanuel “Bong” Madrigal and his teenage daughter, Regina Mia, using a scythe at Tiananmen Square in broad daylight. They were getting off a tourist bus when they were attacked.

Madrigal’s wife, Vivian, suffered injuries but their 2 other younger daughters were spared.

Wang’s motive for killing the Filipino father and daughter was not known, according to non-government organization Human Rights in China (HRIC).

Quoting the China Post, HRIC however said Wang wanted “to vent his anger against society.” Read here

A post, which can be read on the blog BarrioSiete.com as well as in an abs-cbnNEWS.com comment, pointed out similarities between the Tiananmen Square killing and the Manila siege.

Both incidents had vacationers on a tourist bus as victims. The killings also happened in public places of historical significance—Tiananmen Square in Beijing and Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila.

“In both incidents, the state failed miserably in protecting innocent tourists,” the post claimed.

However, the post said that the incident happened in August instead of April 2005.

The post also noted discrepancies between the government’s and public’s reaction.

The 2005 incident was allegedly toned down in China and the Philippines. A report however said the Madrigal family has reportedly requested for their privacy to be respected. Read here

The 2010 hostage-taking, on the other hand, received international attention. President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has apologized for the incident while the Senate has launched a probe into the matter.

Netizens, meantime, are divided over the said parallelism between the 2005 and 2009 killings.

In the PinoyExchange.com forum “Lest we forget- Pinoy Tourists massacred in Tiananmen Square,” user Rational said that both incidents show that “security lapses happen everywhere.” Read here

Rational added, “The point is we acted reasonably to an isolated incident. They are over-reacting. They are calling our cops incompetent while theirs are too.”

Veranthe, however, said: “Look, it’s their country, they can do what they want. If our government wanted to ban travel to China after that incident (which, I might point out, cannot be reasonably compared with what happened here; two against, what, eight?), it can. But it didn’t. So what’s your point?”

Commoner, on the other hand, notes there was no live coverage during the 2005 incident.

“Our Police had a chance to end the incident peacefully but they failed to do so. They had 10 freaking hours to do it. The cops in Beijing may or may not have a similar chance, nobody knows. But given the circumstances? A psychopath on a rampage in public versus a hostage taker inside a bus surrounded by Police? Common sense naman,” Commoner wrote.

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