China Seeks Explanation Over Deadly Philippines Bus Hostage

The Chinese government has urged its counterpart in the Philippines to thoroughly investigate a 12-hour hostage drama in Manila on Monday that resulted in the death of eight Hong Kong nationals and the lone gunman.

The incident, perpetrated by a former police officer dismissed from the service earlier this year on extortion charges, enraged Chinese officials, with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi saying that officials were “appalled” with how the hostage-taking turned out.

Meanwhile, Philippine police admitted that there were shortcomings on their part. Manila police commander Leocadio Santiago said that an investigation would be conducted after officials “saw some obvious shortcomings in terms of capability and tactics used.”

The hostage-taking occurred early Monday when Rolando Mendoza hijacked a tourist bus carrying 21 Hong Kong citizens and four Filipinos. Mendoza demanded that his case be reviewed by the Ombudsman and that he be reinstated in exchange for the freedom of the hostages. Negotiations initially went well with nine hostages being freed in the afternoon.

However, as the hostage drama dragged on, Mendoza became agitated, especially after talking to his brother. Several shots were heard just a few minutes before the bus driver was able to escape, prompting police to launch the assault that ended in bloodshed and was witnessed on live television.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.