Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sad Ending to Manila Hostage Siege

In the morning of August 24, 2010,  one of the most shameful events in the history of the Philippines has become a focus of international media as an armed ex-policeman got on board a tourist filled bus in Intramuros and announced a hostage.  Ex-policeman Rolando Mendoza has taken hostage a group of 25, 21 of them are Hong Kong nationals and four Filipinos. 

The whole hostage ordeal went on for about 11 hours with the hostage-taker able to release 9 people.  It began with a calm negotiation until 3pm that day when he marked his deadline for his demands to be handed to him.  He demands that he become reinstated as a policeman after his rank was stripped of him due to case filed on him.  

His brother, also a policeman, also joined in the negotiation who was later taken by the police due to a gun found in him.  A commotion went on as his brother and his family fought with the police force as the brother is being arrested.   During this time, Mendoza had asked the bus driver to turn on television on board and he was able to see the events happening that was being broadcasted live by local media.  This agitated Mendoza which resulted to him to start shooting the victims with his M16 rifle.  The bus driver was able to get out of the bus and announced that everyone was dead.

This initiated the local police to start the siege.  The siege however became the center of criticism around the world as it showed the incompetence of the local police force on this kinds of situation.   The whole ordeal ended with the death of 8 Hong Kong tourists and the Mendoza.   This has sparked anger from the people of Hong Kong as Hong Kong called on all its citizens in the Philippines to go home.

BBC News posts an article listing the Ten Things the Philippines bus siege got wrong.

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