Philippine Bus Hostage Drama Comes to Bloody Conclusion

A former Manila police officer took twenty five hostages in a tourist bus in the Philippines on Monday morning. The hostage situation ended after a ten-hour standoff with at least two hostages reported killed and the hostage taker shot dead.

A few hours after the report that only two hostages died, it has been confirmed that 9 were killed at the hijacked Philippine tourist bus, as reported by Jim Gomez of the AP.

Former police officer Rolando Mendoza hijacked a tourist bus on Monday morning demanding that he be reinstated to his law enforcement duty. Mendoza was dismissed a year ago on charges of extortion and harassment in a drug-related case. On top of his demand for reinstatement, he also wanted to clear his name in relation to the cases he was involved with.

Mendoza boarded the bus wearing a police uniform and carrying an assault rifle. The bus was taken to a prominent landmark in Manila called the Quirino Grandstand, just a few hundred feet from the Manila Hotel. Over the last ten hours, he has released some of the hostages that included a mother, three children, an elderly man with diabetes and photographers.

Two police negotiators talk to hostage talker, who is wearing police uniform and is believed to be former senior inspector Rolando Mendoza, as the bus sits parked next to Manila's Rizal Park
After long hours of negotiation, four hostages being freed. A mother and three children.

Philippine Policemen try to rescue the hostages after gunshots were heard. They break the doors and windows of the bus using a sledge hammer.

A police assault team breached the bus that led to the bloody ending to the hostage drama. Mendoza was reportedly shot dead after leaving at least two hostages dead.

3 thoughts on “Philippine Bus Hostage Drama Comes to Bloody Conclusion

  1. When I initially heard about the hijacking, my first impression was that the unfolding news story sounded too much like a joke with hostages being able to “enjoy” refreshments, air conditioning, etc. throughout the negotiation process. It didn’t seem like the ex-cop would follow through with killing anyone because what would there be to gain after doing that? Surely not the job he demanded back. However, the guy was obviously mentally unstable and not thinking clearly given the fact that he went to the extremes of holding hostages to begin with, and so for that reason, I think that officials should have taken his threats more seriously and “given in” to his demands just to ensure the safety of the passengers held. He could have easily been apprehended and taken into custody immediately after stepping off the bus; that would have been the ideal time for the police to pounce on him. The media portrayed the ex-cop as “showing signs of kindness” since he was willing to release women and children and the elderly, with the remaining passengers on board the bus described as being “calm and peaceful” … For real? The whole ordeal was never a joke. It was the media and incompetent policemen who portrayed the situation as such, and as a result, a shameful and highly preventable tragedy occurred. It was an unfortunate turn of events for these foreigners who came to the Philippines for what should have been an enjoyable visit. This can’t be good for Hong Kong-Philippine relations or the economy of the Philippines with the tourist industry having also received a major blow.

    1. I totally agree. A good negotiator would’ve convinced the hostage-taker that all his demands were met and once all the hostages were safe the police could’ve easily apprehended him. Why storm a bus risking the lives of innocent hostages when no one was physically harmed up to that point?

  2. Methinks that he was killed on purpose. A higher official probably put things on him as he clearly wasn’t meaning to kill anyone. He even let the driver go. I’m thinking: for fear of the higher up being exposed, ordered the sniper to take him out.

    But that’s just me. A Media blackout should’ve been implemented to contain the situation to dampen the aggravation of the poor guy. Judicial processes suck in the Philippines and take forever. He had nothing more to lose as he probably heard talks that he was now a “Dead man walking”. He probably just wanted to expose the unfair trial that came about his dismissal before he was taken out. He was screaming for justice.

    It happens a lot here. Higher ups just love to wash their hands. The PNP has such a huge budget but they can’t even afford to train their people for situations like these. Tsk. I hate the way media makes everything explode.

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