Monday, August 23, 2010
Hostage Horror in the Philippines
The gunman was named Rolando Mendoza, 55 and boarded the bus in Intramuros a historic walled city. It had been two years since his dismissal from his post as a senior inspector. He placed a sign on the window stating "Big deal will start after 3pm today." Later as the bus pulled into Jose Rizal Park alongside Manila Park he pulled out an M16 automatic rifle and announced he was taking the passengers hostage.
Aboard the bus there were 3 tour guides, a photographer, a bus driver and 20 tourists. In the early hours of the situation 9 people including some children, elderly and a man with diabetes were released.Of the three Filipino's a tour guide and a photographer were released.This left 15 tourists from Hong Kong on the bus.
The Filipino authorities have been heavily criticised for their handling of the situation which saw them try to storm the bus 5 times and on one occasion trying to beat in the windows with a sledgehammer.However, the nation does have internationally trained SWAT teams on hand in the capital. After the escape of the bus driver a round of gun fire was shot. An onlooker, a young man was injured by one of the gun shoots, clearly not sufficiently far away enough from the bus at the time. The bus driver claimed that all of the hostages on the bus had died.
40 minutes after the bus driver's escape the police approached the bus again. This time one of their snipers managed to catch the hostage taker in the head and his body was seen hanging out of a window on the bus. The search was then on for survivors. Three survivors were seen escaping from a window after the incident and a Hong Kong official said 7 of its people were killed in the incident.