Philippines: Hostage drama ends in violence

Ten people died in a hostage drama in Manila, Philippines when an ex-policeman hijacked a tourist bus Monday morning. The victims were tourists from Hong Kong.

Capt. Rolando Mendoza, a decorated police officer, was relieved from duty in 2008 after being involved in robbery-extortion and drug-related cases. Mendoza believed he didn’t receive fair treatment and demanded a review of his case. Mendoza was shot dead by SWAT forces which ended the 11-hour hostage crisis.

Here is the timeline of events which stunned the Philippines, Hong Kong, and the world. As expected, the hostage incident became a twitter trending topic yesterday with many Filipinos documenting and reacting to the drama.

Screenshot of Trendsmap

Here are some twitter reactions:

ang_mungo: I cannot blame anyone — not the President, media, the police, nor the hostage taker. I feel just as guilty for watching it unfold.
Iambazooka: @darylmakesmyday Yah you're right. This is one of the saddest morning in the country. The #hostage was so traumatic, tragic & depressing.:(
roberthernjr: Love not hate and anger, prayer not blame and judgement, its what we need more than anything in this hostage tragedy.

Many people are disappointed with how the police handled the situation

jacongking: This bungled hostage crisis should teach us valuable lessons we MUST learn from. Our cops need training dealing with such tense situations
mErv_aka_sHia: haiz…the news is still everywhere about what happened yesterday..its really disappointing how pnp (Philippine National Police) handled the hostage crisis..tsk tsk!!sad
chOkOLeit2010: First the Torture Scandal, then the Hostage-taking. Police Police, who else amongst are in the foul list of police?☹
bnievera: Let's put the whole police force/PNP on psychological testing. As hostage taker or supposed rescuers, there's something wrong with them.

And the media, particularly TV and radio networks, are also accused of disrupting the operations/tactics of the police

carlosconde: Woke up to the sound of hostage-taker's father sobbing on TV and a reporter asking him how he feels. This is why people sometimes loathe TV.
bytesizedpieces: Is news blackout only acceptable to the media when a reporter's life is involved? Yesterday was reality TV gone awry.
tonyocruz: Top media execs, editors & reporters ought to assess how they performed their work, whether they went overboard or fell short. They owe us.
obakesan: Media indignantly mouthing off this morning re: hostage situation. As if their sensationalist, bombastic coverage of the entire thing helped

President Noynoy Aquino has already issued a statement expressing sorrow over what happened yesterday. But there are also twitterers who are dissatisfied with his reaction

aresgutierrez: President Noy was disatisfied w/PAGASA (weather bureau) & its chief got sacked; now he's not satisfied with MPD (Manila Police District), will General Magtibay's head roll?
Karen_DaviLa: Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang dissapointed w how hostage crisis was handled. Claims tried calling PNoy (Philippine president), couldn't reach him.

Many were surprised that a flash game based on the hostage situation was immediately developed.

Reigno Jose Dilao, a teenager blogger, issued this open letter

I politely ask the attention of the world. Please do not judge and mistreat us just because of what happened tonight. I have been searching the net and found terrible things.

I can’t blame you for what you have decided but I hope that you could understand. Our country is now in a sea of problems. And I know for sure that we helped you in a way or another. Let peace and understanding reign this time.

Reyjr apologizes in behalf of other Filipinos

I am sorry that you had to watch the hostage negotiations suddenly become compromised by the crude mishandling of the situation by the people in charge.

I am sorry you had to watch the appalling display of incompetence – the repeated futile attempts to open a bus door, and count how many times the policemen dropped the ax while trying to break through the windshield.

I have no other words, and none to comfort those who lost their loved ones here. They came to my country as tourists on a holiday – but go home in caskets.

Duìbùqǐ. I am sorry.


  • BL

    The SWAT team was a joke. Proud to be pinoy? Glad we can at least provide entertainment to the rest of the world. Jeeze. What an international embarrassment.

  • Jocea

    This is really tragic for d victims family and reputation of our country. But as the saying goes nothing happens by accident, let’s hope & pray that this will be an eye openner to our government & for us Filpinos we too have responsibility to contribute for the good of our nation. Let’s be united as 1 family 1 nation & if like this expolice man felt treated unfairly will retaliate in such a way as this let’s think & consider d impact it’s not just to get d attention of the government but the future of our kids and our nation in general. We really have to learn to love our country & people. And for the government may u lead with the Godly wisdom.

  • I pray to God that the pains caused by the hostage crisis in Manila will soon be eased. I also urge everyone to offer prayers to those who died harshly…especially for the rests of their families. There is no amount of madecine to get rid of the pain due to the loss of their loved ones. At this time we should not blame one another or point a finger to anyone else…All of these will pass , but in the passing there is always a lesson!

  • Tan

    All that training is a money’s waste. You should take serious training from the pro’s like the LAPD-SWAT! Than wasting money in practicing your guts in video games and/or filling up your bellies. You put RP in shame throughout the world! I hope that day is a lesson for you people in the PNP!

  • leo

    There is now suspicion that the Phillipino police is doing something to provoke the gunman so that he will be shot death anyway. He is going to disclose the dark side of corruption in Manila police if he survives.
    Also some Phillipino including that lady policewoman is too cold blood to take the pleasure of others’ suffering by taking smiling photos in front of the slaughter site:-
    See the connection:-

    Confess to God and pray for your sin!

  • Holyspirit

    One very sad \laughter\ can be made by reading an essay about \ Sub-sovereignty\ of Hong Kong post in MingPao on 27th August. It is fine to show the so called \ Sub-sovereignty\ of HK by making a call by D.Tsang to Phillippino president. It is a laughter to dream that the Manila tragedy will make the answer of phone call from CE of HK a must in future. It is wrong to sacrifice the lives of HK citizens without their consent to show HK’s sub-sovereignty in this case. The seek of sovereignty country’s(China) greatest possible assistance should be made when the Phillippino president’s phone is not connected. Try it with your own son as hostage in Manila in future! What a poor emphasis of sub-sovereignty is made. One should put the lives of hostages in first place!

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