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Hostage incident investigation report officially submitted to Aquino

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - The Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report on the Aug. 23 hostage crisis was officially submitted to President Benigno Aquino III today, officials said.

The report, submitted by the IIRC led by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to Aquino in the Malacanang presidential palace, was received at 4 p.m. but Aquino and the IIRC members began discussions on the report at 5 p.m., said Ramon Carandang, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Secretary.

Aquino was furnished an advance copy of the final draft this morning "so he could go over it for possible discussion with the IIRC when the final report, with voluminous annexes, is officially submitted to him this afternoon", presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

Aquino told local and international businessmen in a dialogue at noon today that he was already halfway through the report.

"I'm actually at the point where the letter from the Ombudsman (Merceditas Gutierrez) is about to be delivered (to the hostage taker Rolando Mendoza). I want to finish this as soon as possible, " Aquino said.

The delivery of the letter of the Ombudsman to Mendoza started the change in his mood. Eight Hong Kong tourists were killed and several others were wounded during the 11-hour hostage tragedy. The police shot dead Mendoza while storming the hijacked bus.

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