The Rizal Park Hostage Crisis in Manila

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  • Topic: Manila, Alfredo Lim, Hostage
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  • Published : January 20, 2013
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he Manila hostage crisis, officially known as the Rizal Park hostage-taking incident,[3] occurred when a dismissed Philippine National Police officer took over a tourist bus in Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines on August 23, 2010. Disgruntled former senior inspector Rolando Mendoza of the Manila Police District (MPD) hijacked a tourist bus carrying 25 people (20 tourists and a tour guide from Hong Kong, and four Filipinos) in an attempt to get his job back.[4] He said that he had been summarily and unfairly dismissed, and that all he wanted was a fair hearing and the opportunity to defend himself.[5] Negotiations broke down dramatically about ten hours into the stand-off, when the police arrested Mendoza's brother and thus incited him to open fire.[6] As the shooting began, the bus driver managed to escape, and was shown on television saying "Everyone is dead" before being whisked away by policemen.[7] Mendoza and eight of the hostages were killed and a number of others injured.[8] The MPD's failed rescue attempt and gun-battle with the hijacker, which took around 90 minutes, were watched by millions on live television and the internet.[9] The Philippine and Hong Kong governments conducted separate investigations into the incident. Both inquiries judged that the victims had been unlawfully killed, and identified the Philippine officials' poor handling of the incident as the cause of the eight hostages' deaths.[10][11] The assault mounted by the MPD, and the resulting shoot-out, have been widely criticized by pundits as "bungled" and "incompetent",[12] and the Hong Kong Government has issued a "black" travel alert for the Philippines as a result of the affair.[13] -------------------------------------------------

Hijacking

As the Hong Thai Travel Services tour bus was taking on the 25 Hong Kong tourists in front of Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Rolando Mendoza attempted to follow the tourists onto the tour bus, requesting a free ride. When his request was declined by the driver, Mendoza brandished a weapon, handcuffed the driver to the steering wheel and hijacked the bus.[18] However, a number of witnesses saw a man answering Mendoza's description boarding the bus at Fort Santiago. The police were looking for accomplices who dropped him off at Fort Santiago.[19] Driver Alberto Lubang also said Mendoza boarded there, and subsequently announced his true intention at Rizal Park.[6] Mendoza, armed with a handgun and an M16 rifle,[20] commandeered the tour bus, demanding reinstatement to his previous post with benefits[14] and claiming he was framed. Manila mayor Alfredo Lim said he would grant Mendoza's wish to be reinstated if he could prove himself.[21] Initially police believed that the hostages aboard the bus were mainly South Koreans,[22] but they were later confirmed to be 21 Hong Kong holidaymakers, a bus driver, and two tour guides. Masa Tse Ting-chunn, the tour guide from Hong Kong, immediately alerted his employing agency in Hong Kong to the situation by telephone shortly after 10:30 am. During the two-minute conversation, Tse calmly informed the assistant customer services manager that his group was being held hostage.[18] [edit]Negotiations

Almost an hour later, six Hong Kong tourists were freed.[23] An elderly woman, Li Tsui Fung-kwan, complained of stomach pains and was the first to be released from the bus. Her diabetic husband, Li Yick-biu, was released later. Then, 40-year-old Tsang Yee-lai was released with her two children — 10-year-old son Fu Chak-yin and 4-year-old daughter Fu Chung-yin. As Tsang left, she lied to Mendoza that the 12-year-old boy Jason Wong Ching-yat was a relative of hers and convinced Mendoza to release Jason with her children. Two Filipino photographers, Danilo Nebril and Rigor Cruz, boarded the bus as volunteer hostages in exchange for the aforementioned releases. The released hostages were taken to a police precinct in Rizal Park.[3][24] By noon three additional hostages,...
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