MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The mayor of Manila and his deputy say they will decline an invitation by Hong Kong authorities to question them about last year’s botched hostage rescue in the Philippine capital in which eight tourists died.

The two officials are among 116 witnesses invited to appear before an inquest in February, but the office of the Philippine president said Monday their participation is voluntary.

A dismissed policeman took a busload of Hong Kong tourists hostage on Aug. 23 and allegedly killed eight before he was shot dead by police snipers. A Philippine inquiry has absolved top ranking police and civilian authorities from any criminal liability.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who is facing administrative sanctions, said he had already explained his side.

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