Manila hostage crisis ended after 12 hours on Monday night while heavy rains pour with the hostage-taker, former Police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, dead after he was shot in the head by a sniper of the Philippine National Police Special Weapons and Tactics team (PNP-SWAT). The Philippine hostage drama was seen live on television around the globe.
The hostage-taking of a Hong Thai tourist bus near Quirino Grandstand at around 9 a.m. Monday morning ended with eight people confirmed dead. Seven were confirmed alive. Hostages aboard the bus were Chinese tourists.
Dismissed Police Rolando Mendoza released 9 hostages earlier which includes two women, three children, a diabetic and three Filipinos.
Mendoza shot two hostages after seeing a lot of SWAT (special weapons and tactics police) coming in. “I shot two Chinese. I will finish them all if they do not stop,” he told the Radio Mindanao Network. “I can see a lot of SWAT (special weapons and tactics police) coming in. I know they will kill me. They should all leave because anytime I will do the same here.”
The driver of the tourist bus which was reportedly handcuffed on the steering wheel managed to escape and claimed that all hostages are dead.
A letter from the Office of the Ombudsman was sent to the hostage taker, and reports said that he didn’t like the contents of the letter. More complications arise when he saw his emotional brother Senior Police Officer 2 Gregorio Mendoza being arrested by police. Superintendent Ike Gutierrez of the Manila police said SPO2 Mendoza was arrested for bringing a gun to the hostage scene without coordinating with the police.
At around 8 p.m several gunshots were heard and a civilian was hit by a stray bullet, he was rushed to a hospital. Police shoot the tires of the bus after it slightly moved. Teargas canisters were thrown inside the bus and policeman tried to open the door. Ambulances and mobile police cars were scattered. Police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza was killed after a single shot in the head.
After the assault by the 30 SWAT team members, survivors and bloodied bodies were brought out of the bus.
The freed hostages were provided food and accomodations to their hotels. Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman were the ones in-charge for the stress debriefing.
Because of this, Hong Kong issued travel warning to its citizens to avoid all travel to the Philippines.