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Shock over the Mendoza-hostage killing of Hongkong Tourists

Arriving in Manila as a tourist in another country and to hear deaths of tourists in my own country was just so sad and shocking.

I just arrived from Kota Kinabalu at 10:00 PM tonight. I knew about the hostage taker Sp Rolando Mendoza when I read twitter updates at around 3:00 PM, the time I checked out from the hotel. It alarmed me that it started at 10:30 AM and still not much progress on whether the hostage drama would end. My husband said that a person like that is unstable. That should have been a warning signal for the negotiators.

Boarding the plane back to Manila at around 7:45 PM, I had no idea that a bloodbath ensued at 7:30 PM. There was no wifi at the Kota Kinabalu airport for me to monitor the hostage drama. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it to end in bloodshed. The bad news was relayed to us when my husband and I sat inside our taxi cab.

Dead hostages? How did that happen? Where did it go wrong? I am still trying to make heads and tails of what transpired. Jane told me something about the media coverage , being a blow by blow account and the hostage seeing all the drama unfold .

Just arriving from such a peaceful city like Kota Kinabalu just made it so sad. I am trying to imagine myself in that situation. Being in a foreign land then taken hostage with greedy media trying to get a scoop, then complicated with a bungled SWAT operation. Cocoy says, “if you read guidelines for covering hostage-taking crisis, prison uprisings, terrorist actions, you will find that Philippine Media broke all of those”

Can I just say that media need not cover everything ? like the part where his brother resisted arrest.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims. To the Hongkong : I am just as shocked and angry as you are. it is understandable that there is a travel ban to our country. Just know, I am outraged at how our authorities handled the hostage crisis and hope that our president resolves the situation towards a positive resolution.

On President Aquino’s press conference

I was quite disturbed with his facial expression. He seemed to be smiling as he talked about the hostage drama. His calm composure is admirable though. I hope he resolves that media, the police and the SWAT will learn from this .

Reading his official statement, I beg to disagree that there were “encouraging signs”. When I first read the hostage drama at 3 PM, I felt the hostage taker was mentally unstable. The SWAT should have gotten advice form their forensic psychiatrist or psychologist (if any).

Statement of President Aquino on the Quirino Grandstand hostage taking incident

August 24, 2010

With the rest of the Filipino people, I wish to offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims whose lives were lost in the hostage situation at the Quirino Grandstand. The Secretary of Foreign Affairs has conveyed our deep feelings of sorrow to the Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China and the people of Hong Kong through Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang. I have tasked Secretaries Soliman and Lim to provide everything necessary for the recovery and return home of the survivors. I have directed the fullest cooperation with the Hong Kong authorities on the part of our officials.

From the onset of this incident, the hostage-taker seemed to not be belligerent, as shown by the release of hostages. These were encouraging signs.

We were going to wait him out. The idea was to let the ground commanders who are the experts in this field handle the operation with minimal interference from people who are less expert.

But the situation deteriorated rapidly when, during the course of the negotiations, he was given the letter of the Ombudsman in which she promised to personally review his case. As he was reading the contents of the letter, while talking to an unknown individual on the phone, he became increasingly agitated.

The presence of his brother also added to the tension.

At this point, he threatened to kill a hostage. The police decided to remove the brother from the scene. As the negotiators were departing, the negotiators were shot at.

Media coverage of his brother being taken into custody further agitated the hostage-taker.

Shots were fired. They seemed to be warning shots, as there was no audible indication of tumult or chaos to show that the hostages were in immediate danger.

Nonetheless, the negotiators tried to reestablish contact the hostage-taker but they were unsuccessful as the cellphone of the hostage-taker was continuously busy. He also refused to answer the throw-phone provided for him by the authorities.

The escape of the driver, combined with his reports that the hostages were being harmed, forced the assault to happen. When the vehicle began to move, and with reports that he had hand grenades, a decision was made to immobilize the vehicle as it would have made the situation even more dangerous.

As we know, the incident tragically ended in the deaths of eight innocent civilians.

We expect more of the facts to come to light and I have ordered Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to thoroughly lead this review.

Postcripts Of A BloodBath

(Update: Media sources say that there is no such victim.

Got this from an email forward. This is supposed to be a survivor witness account. It might be a fictitious account but the terror inside is real.)

4 thoughts on “Shock over the Mendoza-hostage killing of Hongkong Tourists”

  1. I am deeply sad and somehow ashamed about what’s happening to our country right now. The non-professionalism attitude and approach of the police officials and now that other countries are feasting on us again. I hope this will all end soon.

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  3. I am very disappointed to the 8/23 hostage drama, and it affects me so much you see its not the Policemen that should be only blamed on these matter or Mr. Mendoza himself. The one that is responsible on this matter and must have the full accountability is the President and the Mayor of Manila.

    Here the the scenario tha…t made them accountable:
    1. Where is the President within 12 hours of the drama? He said he was in DILG had meetings about the problem —-> Did the meeting worked well ang ayus ayus ba?

    – You see Mr. President if you just on the air through ABS or NBN about the problem and take actions earlier like for example Nationwide addressing the crisis, calming the entire people, calming the Hongkong nationals, asking favour to the media for sensoring purposes and even TALKING TO MENDOZA through televised address this can be prevented at least may ginawa ka at di ka nagkulang.

    – Your job is to command and not just deligating responsibility. You mentioned about that you were informed by the police people that the situation is okay and you agree. You see once you agree you are bounded with FULL RESPONSIBILITY & ACCOUNTIBILITY.

    – If you just pinagbigayan kahilingan ni Mensoza just for the sake na mailigtas ang mga HK hostages hindi ito manyayari di ka ba nakakahalata? Kung pagbibigyan mo lang si Mendoza sana mga approximately 200,000 pesos lang masasayang sa request and benefits nya siguro. Eh ngayon ano gawa ng desisyon mo? 300,000 x 8 for casket, Hospital Bills for patients involve ( approx. 200,000), payment and Damages(20 million?), PLUS MEGA KAHIHIYAN di lamang sa iyo Damay pa kami (Priceless).
    Thank you talaga.

    – How will you allow na pinakikita na gusgusin na hinuhuli ung kapatid ni mendoza? Alam mo ba nakikita ang kachepan ng Pilipinas nyan sa ibang bansa? Then gagawin mo pa boy abunda tourism sana — buti na lang di tinaggap ang offer?

    – You mentioned that ang may kasalanan ay magbabayad I think you and the Mayor is accountable and you Disqualify the job description you have to do is just to command. Minaliit mo ang international community ,at wala ka gawa, focusing in wang wang… but delicate & complex things wala.

    – mayor LIM: Pakiayaayos naman ang BAHA d2 sa maynila.

    – Kawawa naman ang mga PULIS na matatangal, they have been not instructed and trained.

    -Just want to comment in ABS CBN, sa magandang umaga episode siguro mas maganda ipunto for punto ninyo is Mayor LIM at PNoy NOY, kung kay PGMA nga kung paano ka maggaliiti bakit ngayon Pulis lang ang nginangarag nyo? May kinikilingan ba?

    – Just want to comment with Senator Bong Revillia, Nasan ka ng hostage drama? Alam ko wala ka kasalanan pero nasan ka? This shows that you are doing heroic things in the past kasi mageeleksyon? Ngayon number 1 ka na sa senatorial bets wala ka na? I hope politics must be consistent about the manner they do.

  4. One big “I TOLD YOU SO” to the NoyNoy voters if you ask me. Not to be spiteful, but where was Noynoy this whole time? He didn’t lift a finger. Perhaps his job is not HR/Negotiator but really, he didn’t do a single thing nor make a single CORRECT decision. And why didn’t he even bother to call the HK President? That, in itself, is such an insult. You DO NOT delay those kinds of things. Let’s be frank – if it was the other way around, and tralalala the HK President didn’t take any of President Noynoy’s calls, wouldn’t you appalled and disturbed? And how DIFFICULT is it to hold back your emotions during a press con? To keep the two corners of your lips from turning up? Is it really that difficult?

    Let’s face it – everyone may have hated Gloria for corruption, but darnit she knew how to handle situations with a straight face. If you didn’t do anything correctly in the hostage situation, the least we can do is pacify the people we have hurt and offended. Epic fail on #1. Epic fail on #2. In a test = 0/10.

    Sorry to the hardcore Noynoy voters, but this is Month 2. Until now I have not seen anything substantial from him, and in the face of crisis he failed. And let’s face it, one man, in a bus, with a gun, who just wanted his JOB back, was NOT a huge crisis. Let’s see where our President runs when faced with terrorists and suicide bombers. Mindanao Abu Sayaff must be laughing their heads off right now, thinking how “chicken” it must be to manipulate the government when a one-man army nearly tipped it over. Jeez.

    The drama was NOT the hostage situation. Let’s face it, it was an easy situation compared to other hostage situations of the government. In Filipino.. ang dale-dale, and simple. Everyone had huge red marks on the foreheads for the next couple of days from the all forehead smacking. What a big DUH for our country.

    I can’t blame the Erap supporters, the masa – they didn’t know any better when they voted for him. BUt the EDUCATED voted for Noynoy. You guys had such good choices – Villar, and if not even him, Gibo. But you EDUCATED people chose Noynoy, because, what, he’s a good man? So was Gibo!

    A corporate enterprise can’t be run based on honesty alone. If that’s the case, let’s put my driver as President of a company, he’s really honest. It takes more than that, otherwise, a company fails. What more a whole freakin country?

    Those people died so unnecessarily. My heart goes out to all these innocent people who came here to the Philippines for time with their family, only to be shot to death because our government was too.. *sigh* there are no words.

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