Ironically, Rolando Mendoza, the tourist bus hostage-taker, was the recipient of commendations in the 1990s for his service as a police officer. But in 2009, just two years before his mandatory retirement, he was dismissed on several charges of extortion and all of his retirement benefits were also taken away.
This is believed to be what caused him to commandeer a tourist bus loaded with Hong Kong Nationals, in what would turn out to be an 11-hour hostage-taking.
Rolando Mendoza wanted the review of his administrative case expedited and he also wanted to be reinstated with full benefits. He needed a way to get the police brass’ attention. At one point, his brother, also a policeman and who was arrested a few hours earlier on charges of being an accessory to the hostage-taking, even called out to President Aquino for help.
Seeing his brother, Gregorio, being hauled off to jail by fellow policemen, despite pleas of family members who clung tightly to him to prevent the arrest, enraged Rolando even more and started him on a shooting spree that hit an on-looker on the leg.
This forced police authorities to order the end of the hostage-taking, killing Rolando in the ensuing takeover of the tourist bus.