I picked the remote control and turned to other channels, it covered the same scene. This must be, big news, I said to myself. Indeed it was big, not only in the local scene but also worldwide. It was a breaking news at CNN and other foreign channels and on Twitter the Quirino grandstand hostage crisis was a top trending topic.
The hostage taking happened as early as 7 o’clock in the morning, Monday 23 August 2010 when dismissed MPD (Manila Police District) Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza hitched a bus ride filled with 22 foreign nationals (Hongkong nationals) and 3 filipinos armed with M-16 rifle.
The hostage drama was supposed to get the attention of the Ombudsman and MPD, after hostage taker Mendoza was dismissed from duty in February 2009 and ripping all his retirement benefits and not being able to hold governmental jobs ever again.
He demands for his reinstatement - a long negotiation was in progress for the whole day but both parties ended with disagreements. It was in the evening that the suspect started firing his gun and when MPD found an opening, dismissed Sr. Insp. Rolando Mendoza was taken down.
Five hostages were rushed at the nearest Manila Doctors Hospital but four were declared DOA and one in critical condition. All in all a total of nine fatalities were recorded, eight were hostages and the hostage taker himself Sr. Insp. Mendoza.
Now Hongkong government has issued a travel advisory to her people to avoid Philippines as their destination.
So, how would you solve this kind of problem, Pnoy? Remember, the straight path you promised us!