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.


Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site