Hong Kong tourists held hostage in the Philippines, eight killed


A former Filipino policeman has kept Hong Kong tourists hostage by hijacking their bus in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Rolando Mendoza fired his M16 rifle at the tourists. Several hostages have been rescued and least six have been confirmed dead so far. Six hostages, including the children and elderly, were released early, as were the Filipino photographers. The photographers later took the place of an aged lady as she needed the lavatory. Mendoza was gunned down.

Mendoza was fired from the Police Force after robbery and drugs claims. His brother explained that ‘his problem was he was unjustly removed from service. There was no due process, no hearing, no complaint.’ Both government officials and his brother had tried to negotiate with him to release the hostages.

Mendoza stuck handwritten notes on the bus. One threatened that a ‘big deal’ would happen after 3pm; another said ‘Big mistake to correct a big wrong decision’. Yet another attempted to catch the attention of the media.

Gunshots were heard inside the bus and Mendoza was shot down. The police rescued the hostages on the bus. The number of survivors totalled seven. Eight were confirmed dead.

The Hong Kong government discussed with Hong Thai Travel and decided to send a plane to take the survivors back to Hong Kong. Ambrose Lee led an ad hoc group to deal with the incident. One police officer and one Immigration Department officer of Hong Kong flew to Manila to help.

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