Manila, Philippines — The Palace has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation to stop issuing statements about the hostage incident and to let the Department of Justice (DoJ) do the talking.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said only Justice Secretary Leila de Lima would be allowed to brief the media and the public on the developments in the investigation being conducted by an inter-agency body headed by the DoJ.
Lacierda said the order was De Lima’s idea meant to avoid confusion.
The order came a day after the PNP, through spokesman Sr. Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., said all tourists were killed by the hostage taker and not by fire from the members of the Manila Police S.W.A.T. team. Cruz cited initial forensic analysis on spent shells recovered inside the bus where the hostages were held.