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Fury as Manila five fail to show for video quiz

Natalie Wong The Standard 03/16/2011 05:57
Fury as Manila five fail to show for video quiz - crime - Philippines - hostage situation - Hong Kong

Five Philippine witnesses snubbed the Coroner's Court investigation into last year's Manila tour bus bloodbath when they failed to turn up to testify via video link.

Coroner Michael Chan Pik-kiu was informed of the no- shows yesterday by Chan Lok-wing, superintendent of the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau, who flew to Manila to set up the video-conferencing equipment for the afternoon hearing.

Chan said senior superintendent Lorlie Arroyo, executive officer of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory, told him with only two hours to go that the witnesses would not show up, but did not explain why.

"Over the phone, she [Arroyo] did not specify any reason. She just told me that they were not appearing," Chan said.

The Philippine National Police witnesses include three medico-legal officers, who carried out autopsies on five of the eight Hong Kong fatalities, superintendent Ruby Grace Diangson, who supervised the autopsies, and chief inspector Daniel Lomboy of the Crime Laboratory firearms identification division, who recovered bullets from the bus.

They had promised to testify after confirming the arrangement with Arroyo in a 45-minute meeting at the PNP Crime Laboratory on Monday afternoon.

Arroyo asked Chan to postpone the testimonies to either tomorrow or Friday.