According to Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, the August 23, 2010 hostage incident perpetrated by retired police officer Rolando Mendoza that resulted in the deaths of eight Hong Kong tourists was an "act of one man". As such it is this one man that should be blamed and not the Philippine Government. Perhaps so, but then entire mechanisms, capabilities, and systems that should have been in place to manage the situation and save lives fall squarely under government responsibility. The police and various state crisis management agencies collectively failed to work together seamlessly to prevent the carnage.
A formal apology by the President on behalf of the Filipino people is, perhaps, in order. The tragedy is a systemic failure that transcends any one person and, as such, there may never be a single person involved to which blame can be pinned. But then the fact remains that there are systemic issues inherent to Philippine society that were at play during the tragic incident and still remain unaddressed in its aftermath. And, for that, apologies are owed to the victims. President Aquino being the leader of the Filipino people needs to step up to the the task of representing his people in a time when reflection and instrospection among them are in such short supply.