MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 24, 2010) – The underground Communist Party of the Philippines on Tuesday branded as “colossal stupidity” how police and government officials handled the hostage-drama in Manila that left at least 7 Hong Kong nationals dead.
It said: “Government and police officials failed to draw out the hostage-taker through negotiations. Police actions, including the arrest of his brother and nephew later in the day, only drew the ire of the hostage-taker and made worse the situation."
The Communist Party of the Philippines, which is fighting for decades now for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country, said the fumbled police assault resulted in unnecessary bloodshed.
"Colossal police incompetence was highlighted in almost every aspect of the hostage crisis. The Filipino people are dismayed at the monumental foul-ups and deplore the incompetence and stupidities of government and police in handling the hostage crisis," it said.
It was referring to the bloody end of the hostage-drama that also killed Rolando Mendoza, a former police captain. Mendoza was shot in the head and body near the bus’ front door where he fought it out with commandos. At least 15 people were held hostage by Mendoza, officials said.
Mendoza, who was dismissed from the service after being accused of robbery and extortion, hijacked the bus on Monday morning. Mendoza later demanded that he be reinstated to the police service after denying all accusations against him.
At least 9 people had been released earlier on Monday by Mendoza and the bus driver escaped later in the night after jumping out of the window.
Earlier in the night, policemen arrested a brother of the hostage-taker, Gregorio Mendoza, after he was accused of instigating and agitating, instead of convincing the armed man to surrender peacefully, according to Director Leocadio Santiago, chief of police forces in the National Capital Region.
The arrest of Mendoza’s elder brother may have prompted him to shoot the hostages. Mendoza’s brother told reporters that policemen would kill him after accusing him of conspiring with the hostage-taker, an accusation he vehemently denied.
Moments after the arrest of Mendoza, several shots rang inside the bus where the tourists were being held by the former cop. Officials said Mendoza hijacked the bus to air his gripe. His brother and wife also urged him to surrender peacefully.
Hong Kong on Tuesday has warned Chinese nationals against travelling to the Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)