Monday, August 23, 2010

* 8 Dead during the 12hr hostage drama at Quirino GrandStand

It was a sad and shocking day to our country (Philippines) with the 12hr hostage incident that happened in Quirino Grandstand yesterday. It was around 10:15 in the morning when ex-Police officer Rolando Mendoza ,55 armed with an M16 rifle hitched a ride with a tourist bus with Hong Kong tourist composed of children and adults.Mendoza an ex senior inspector was discharged last year from his job after being accused for robbery, extortion and grave threats from a Manila Hotel Chef. Mendoza claims he is innocent with the said accusation.The situation was calm and the tourist got confused then Mendoza announced that he was taking the travelers hostage to win back his job. While the bus was park around Quirino Grandstand, Mendoza posted leaflets in the demanding for Media and threatens the life of the tourist.

Negotation went well at first as Mendoza freed nine hostages (3 women, 3 children and 2 men) leaving 15 tourist on the bus. Police sealed the area and brought food and fuel to keep the bus air-conditioned. Mendoza asked for his case to be reviewed but there was a delay for it's delivery because of the traffic and when it arrived he rejected it saying it was insufficient. Mendoza's brother Gregorio also a policeman went to the area and tried to talk to his brother. The police is saying that Gregorio is an accessory for this hostage drama so they have decided to bring him to Camp Crame for investigation which angered the hostage taker Mendoza.

After a few hours the bus driver (Filipino) managed to escape and jump off the bus thru the windows and ran away and started screaming that all of the hostage are dead. He was brought to the Police Station for investigation as well. After the driver's statement that the hostage are dead the SWAT team started to surround the bus and started to destroy the windows and doors. The Police had a hard time and maybe because of the rain as well the slowed them down. Exchange of gunfires happened several times and after a while the police was able to open the emergency door at the back and throw a tear gas inside.

Mendoza tried to use the hostage as human shield and tried to gasp for fresh air because of the tear gas that was thrown inside the bus. The snipers got a clear shot and hit Mendoza in the head that killed him. It was tragic ending when the police entered the bus and found 7 dead tourist lying dead on the floor. Hong Kong government was very disappointed with the result of the rescue and issued a warning against travel to the Philippines and cancel tour plans to the Philippines.

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