After a long and agonizing eleven hours, the hijacking incident that took the life of more than half of the passengers finally came to end.
The hijacker SPO2 Rolando Mendoza, once a decorated police officer and awarded as one of the top 10 officer of the Philippines was ordered dismissed by the Ombudsman forfeiting his retirement benefits along with five fellow policemen. This incident might have been the reason that trigger Mendoza to hijacked the Hong Thai Travel bus at the front of the Quirino Grand Stand, Manila, Philippines with 20 tourist passengers mostly Chinese National and 5 fellow Filipinos.
The incident started at barely 7:00 in the morning according to the news but was only at around 10:00 in the morning when it was aired , hours passed and the negotiations among Rolando Mendoza and the police negotiator and according to Vice Mayor of Manila, Hon Isko Moreno they have been doing their best to accommodate the request of the hostage taker and eventually led to freeing nine hostages.
My whole family was stationed in front of the television as if were watching a movie, the only difference is the grief and the emotion we had is truly breathtaking. As we heard the continuous firing from the bus and the unexpected running of the bus driver along with his shout that everybody in the bus was already dead, i really knew that the gunman will never let the policemen to capture him alive.
Time passed by with the policemen trying to forcibly open the front and emergency door but gunshots were fired from the inside making them to made their distance again.(picture from of www.lexpress.fr)
Just then a commotion was made and policemen confirmed that the hijacker/gunman Rolando Mendoza was already dead, shot by one of the sniper positioned at around 25 meters away (as i have heard in the news) from the area. Afterwards, remaining survivors were immediately alighted from the bus by the rescuer and with heavy smoke and foul odor coming from the tear gas, policeman decided to break the windows and I have seen from their that lifeless body of the passengers were passed through.
This was indeed a very tragic event on the history of Philippine News and Events. Lives were taken and the worst part, this were tourists who wanted to see and feel the beauty of our country. But with this incident, what will happen to our tourism? I believe that we were once blacklisted in the other countries as one of the country which is not safe to travel because of the hostage drama that happens in the Mindanao wherein tourist were hostage and now another incident happened. I believe that this will greatly affect not just our tourism but the security of our nation.