Manila Hostage Drama: During and After Story and Pictures
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Manila Hostage Drama: During and After Story and Pictures

Manila : Philippines | Aug 23, 2010 at 12:06 AM PDT
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An ex-cop, Senior Inspector Rolando del Rosario Mendoza, armed with an automatic rifle, held a Hong Thai tourist bus with 25 passengers hostage, August 23, near the Quirino Grandstand.

As of 2 p.m., seven hostages have already been released, including children and the elderly. 15 Hongkong nationals have been left in the bus along with three Filipinos.

Chief Inspector Erwin Margarejo said that Mendoza's son, Bangued, Abra policeman Bismarck Mendoza asked to be fetched by a helicopter so he can speak with his father in Manila.

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported that the North-bound Buendia flyover going to Luneta and the south drive of Katigbak Road (near Roxas Boulevard) are temporarily closed.

As of 7:10 p.m., police arrested Mendoza’s brother, SPO4 Gregorio Mendoza. The hostage taker angrily told an RMN anchor over the phone that he will start firing at the tourists if his brother is taken away. According to RMN, this was the last time Mendoza was heard on the air.

Around 7:27p.m., sniper shots were fired near the bus according to a live report of GMA News, 24 Oras. After the shots were fired, the driver of the bus, who was earlier reported handcuffed to the steering wheel, escaped.

An assault came minutes after the bus driver escaped from the bus. Around 30 Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) members were involved in the assault. Some of the policemen pounded at the bus windows using sledgehammers.

By 7:45 p.m., policemen closed in and fastened a rope around the glass door to force it open. Unfortunately, by 8:10 p.m., when they tried to pull the bus door open, the rope snapped. And a hostage could be seen slumped near the front door of the bus.

At around 8:18p.m., a rapid fire was heard. A civilian was hit by a stray bullet and was rushed to hospital.

At around 9 p.m., the police managed to open the rear emergency exit. No movement was seen inside the bus, but a light came on. Police hesitated in entering the bus but eventually forced their way in. Several hostages were seen walking out, while others were carried on stretchers and brought to waiting ambulances.

As of 9:15 p.m., Mendoza, was declared killed by SWAT operatives after sustaining a shot in the head.

As of 2:36 p.m. of August 24, China demanded answers and a thorough investigation into the incident and inform them as soon as possible. Moreover, there has been a travel ban implemented in Hong Kong for its citizens to travel to the Philippines an hour after the 12-hour hostage crisis ended. This was caused by the deaths of eight Hong Kong tourists, which triggered Hong Kong residents to express outrage. Even media outlets in the Chinese territory denounced Philippine's police as incompetent.

Three hostages are in stable condition now. A Chinese male in his early 20s underwent brain surgery after the 10-hour bus drama "and he is doing well at the moment," according to Manila Doctors Hospital medical director Dr. Mario Juco.

A 67-year-old Chinese woman was also being treated at the hospital due to "inhalation distress" brought about by the tear gas. "She's very stable and she can talk," disclosed Juco.

A 47-year-old male hostage victim was undergoing surgery due to broken wrists at press time, Juco added.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross also released a partial list of the fatalities, identified as follows:

Leung Doris Chung See -- DoA (dead on arrival) at San Juan de Dios Hospital (female)

Yeung Yee Wa -- DoA Ospital ng Maynila (female)

Fu Cheuk Yan -- DoA Manila Doctor's Hospital (male)

Wong Tze Lam -- DoA PGH (male).

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ken_nic2009 is based in Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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