By the CNN Wire Staff
August 23, 2010 — Updated 2328 GMT (0728 HKT)

Gunman in the Philippines ends standoff by killing 8, wounding 7

Manila, Philippines (CNN) — A former police officer who was upset at having lost his job took hostage a busload of tourists from Hong Kong on Sunday, killing eight of them before he himself was shot dead, Manila’s police chief said Monday.

Police start charging the bus in Manila, Philippines, after a former police officer took a group of tourists hostage

One passenger was critically wounded and six were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after the 10-hour standoff erupted into gunfire, Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang told reporters.

The hostage-taker, former police officer Rolando Mendoza, died of a gunshot wound to the head, police said.

The incident began at 10 a.m. Monday (10 p.m. ET Sunday), when Mendoza — wearing a uniform and carrying a rifle — flagged down the tourist bus and asked for a ride, police spokesman Erwin Margarejo told reporters.

A tour guide for Hong Thai Travel tried to stop him from boarding the bus, the company’s general manager told reporters.

“The gunman said he wanted to have a free lift. Then the tour guide stopped him,” General Manager Susanna Lau said. “Eventually, the gunman got on the coach and then asked the driver to lock the door.”

Lau said the gunman did not threaten people on the bus.

Twenty-five people, including 22 foreigners, were on the bus when Mendoza boarded it, Manila District Police Chief Rodolfo Magtibay said.

Mendoza wrote his demand that he get his job back on a board and displayed it in the bus windshield.

Inside, the hostages appeared calm but confused, Margarejo said.

Police cordoned off the area around the bus as they tried to negotiate, and sharpshooters were stationed nearby. Food was delivered to the hostages on board.

Manila police official Leocadio Santiago told CNN that Mendoza’s family members spoke with him early in the standoff and that he appeared “very reasonable and very psychologically stable.”

The gunman released nine of the hostages, including a mother and her three children, a man with diabetes, and two photographers. The bus driver also escaped.

Around 2 p.m., the Philippine news channel ANC showed images of signs posted on the bus windshield saying, “Big deal will start after 3 p.m. today” and “3 p.m. today dead lock.”

But two hours later, there were no signs that the situation had changed.

ANC showed passengers peeking out from behind curtains of the parked bus and a sign posted on the bus door saying, “Big mistake to correct a big wrong decision.”

Mendoza was dismissed a year ago, Margarejo said.

Manila Vice Mayor Ikso Moreno told CNNI that Mendoza’s dismissal was for extortion and that he wanted his motion for reconsideration to be heard.

“He felt that it was being neglected,” Moreno said. “So he went on hostaging a bus full of foreign individuals. So when we talked to him this afternoon, that’s what he wanted.”

Moreno said he traveled to the eastern edge of metropolitan Manila “and I got what he want,” referring to a letter from the ombudsman.

But when he arrived near the site of the standoff in the company of Mendoza’s brother and the chief hostage negotiator, “All of a sudden, he kept on shouting, ‘Don’t let go until they give my gun back! Don’t let go! Don’t let go!’ He just shout, one moment — Captain Mendoza just fired his gun.”

Mendoza sprayed machine gun fire at the hostages, a police spokesman told CNN.

At 8 p.m. Monday, police stormed the bus, which held 15 hostages, killing Mendoza.

Moreno told CNN that Mendoza’s brother was arrested because he was “guilty of conspiring with his brother” and allegedly helped instigate the shooting.

“This is a tragedy,” Tsang said. “The outcome is very disappointing.”

Tsang said the bodies of the dead would be repatriated as soon as possible.

Relatives of some of the bus passengers were to depart on a plane at midnight (noon ET) for Manila, Tsang said. Also planning to travel were a number of government officials, psychologists and doctors, he said. A second flight for family members will depart at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

In addition, he said, Hong Kong has issued a warning urging its tourists to leave the Philippines right away.

Tsang said he had tried to contact Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III but had been unable to reach him.

In Manila, Aquino told reporters that he had asked his secretary of foreign affairs to speak with Tsang.

Aquino said he had ordered an investigation, and would wait until it is completed before deciding whether anyone should lose his or her job. “As the president, my opinion might already sway the investigative panel, which might hamper them in ferreting out the truth, so I will not do that at this time,” he said.

Aquino said the news media may have worsened the situation by giving the shooter “a bird’s-eye view of the entire situation,” but said he had little choice but to let it play out the way it did. “If we ordered a news blackout, you would tell us we were guilty of censoring news a priori,” he said. “We did vow transparency.”

CNN’s Sarita Harilela and journalists Constance Cheng, Maria Ressa and Arlene Samson-Espiritu contributed to this report.

Wikipedia :
2010 Manila hostage crisis

Related Stories:
Al Jazeera : Hostages die in Manila bus siege
Reuters: Police kill Manila bus gunman with some hostages alive
AP Associated Press : Philippines bus hostage crisis ends with 7 dead
ABS-CBN News : 8 HK tourists killed in Manila hostage crisis
Inquirer : Bloodbath at Rizal Park : Hostage crisis ends in bloody carnage; 9 hostages dead
Yahoo! Philippines bus hostage crisis ends with 7 dead
PhilStar: Bus hostage crisis ends with 7 dead
BBC News: Philippine police end Manila bus hijack
Sun.Star: Hostage taker killed; several hostages alive

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  1. the people of HK should not get mad in all the filipinos because we, filipinos are not all like mendoza…but then as part of this nation and as a brother of mendoza, we should say sorry to what people should realize that this kind of incident not only happens here in our country but also in other parts of the world and even in their place alone…hope that hk people will not judge every filipino just because of what happened..and i hope that they will continuously visit philippines despite of the tragedic crime…wishing that this should not affect the tourism in our country…

  2. Malaki din ang naging papel ng Media especially ABS-CBN at GMA, kung hindi nila ini-air ng live yung ginagawa ng kapulisan e nagkaron sana ng element of surprise sa operation ng pulis. Lahat ng galaw ng pulis ay namomonitor nitong sira ulo na hostage taker kaya alam nya kung ano nangyayari sa labas. Isa pa, nilagay tayo ng ABS sa malaking kahihiyan sa pagbroadcast sa buong mundo ng live coverage ng hostage taking thru TFC. Dapat sana total media block out ang ginawa ng kapulisan, pati sa mga international press.

    Dahil sa lintek na press freedom na yan kaya nangyayari ang ganyan sa bansa natin, dapat kasi binubusalan ang mga yan. Mga experts na sa paghawak ng mga crisis na ganito ang nagsasabi (they’re from other countries) na wala dapat media sa ganitong sitwasyon kasi kahit kailan wala sila magagawa at pwedeng gawin.

    Kung nanood kayo ng senate investigation malalaman ninyong may kakayahan ang PNP na resolbahin ang sitwasyon. Andun sa scene ang SAF nakumpleto ng equipment at sapat ang training sa hostage rescue. Nagoffer din ang AFP na ideploy ang LRC which also has better equipment and has hostage rescue training . The question regarding gas mask has a simple and stupid answer… NAKALIMUTAN LANG DALHIN…nakakainis!

    Meaning they have the quipment they are just too lazy to bring it. You can’t blame the past administration because it is clear that it was the command who has taken the wrong path. Instead of choosing the well equiped and well trained unit he instead choose the worse and for what reason? SWAT officer in charge assured him that they are well equip and well prepared instead of saying Oh we forgot to bring our equipment here! maayo jud untugon ang mga ulo sa mga ungas nga SWAT Team Leader og Ground Commander! Waray jud ka-Safety-safety ang ningsulod sa ilang mga utok!..naglabay og teargas nga wala silay gas mask!?..ning-atake walay gisul-ub nga bullet vest og helmet!?..They are not doing a very sensible actions but a deliberate unsafe hasty assault that ends the lives of the hostages!

    Sa hostage incident walang managot doon kundi yong nasa lugar ng incident- simple lang ang nangyari…pwersa ang pinairal nila…ika nga ino-ver istimate nila ang nang hostage…inaresto pa yong kapatid…na hindi dapat gawin sa ganoong sitwasyon…pangalawa yong pag aresto sa t.v. pa ipinalabas agad ng medya….eh yong hostage taker ay na ka monitor sa t.v. ….jesus gino o ko… di lalong nag aburuto… sa team ng rescuer walang negotiador ….kundi relay lang kaya galing kay Tulpo…jesus ginoo ko!…kaya yong informastion doon ay delay na kung makarating sa recuer team kung ano ang gusto ng nanghostage. ang gusto lang naman ni mendoza ma ibalik siya sa serbisyo at rebisahin ang kaso…..yon ba naman ay mahirap intendihin….eh mahina ang sikohologiya ng ground kumander at negosyador…negativo ang kanilang responde sa hiling ….jesus ginoo ko kaya ayon….8 patay… hindi nila sineryoso ang sitwasyon kung ano ang manyari pag nagwala ang hostage taker…..sinabi ni mendoza hinuli nyo ang kapatid ko walang alam yan pakawalan nyo yan kung hindi papatay ako ng isa sa hostage…..hindi pinakinggan……akala ata nag lalaro si mendoza ng baribarilan sa limang minuto na oras na binigay ni mendoza walang action ….ang team commander ng rescuer ayon….niratrat na ay di nag ka gulo sila …..hesus ginoo ko….kailangan listo yong negotiador….hindi tulog ang utak sa mga desisyon……ang ground commander ng rescuer eh supt pa ata sa kapulisan……at kung sino pa yon….na mataas ang position sa pulis ……ehhh zero boy zero……back to school sila dapat ni P-Noy para mag training uli…..he he he he ayon ang baho tuloy ng pinas sa mga karatig bansa hindi lang sa hongkong…..jesus gino o koo!…patawarin kayo mga pulis mpd ……ang galing galing nyo…pag dating sa hostage rescue zero as in zero!…..maraming pinsala! kolateral damage!….sa ibang bansa pag nag rescue …..ang unang objective zero casualty ….sa pinas…..bahala ka na!.giparehas lang sa telenobela ang hostage taking……he he he!!! major-major problem talaga ang idinulot DILG nila Secretary Robredo at Mayor Lim!


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