Hostage-taking, headliner in Korean news

I learned about the hostage-taking in Manila when I visited the Inquirer’s homepage while taking a five-minute break from work. I just had to log on to Pinoyexchange on my Opera Mini and check the developments. It was first reported that the bus was full of Korean tourists. It was later corrected that Hong Kong tourists were taken hostage.

Inquirer reported that the hostage-taker, Rolando Mendoza was a recipient of the TOPP (Ten Outstanding Policemen of the Philippines) in 1996 but was dismissed earlier this year on allegations of extortion.

The incident which got Mendoza sacked from his profession happened two years ago. He and other policemen extorted money from and ordered Christian Kalaw to swallow a packet of shabu. The policemen’s action were known and were sanctioned through a viral email sent by the victim’s father. I read all the comments posted there while on the subway! The last comment was posted on April 30, 2009.

When I got home, my husband was watching the 9 o’clock news on MBC and it was at that moment that they were reporting about the hostage incident. After this, they also talked about a South Korean who was also killed in the Philippines in the afternoon. The two incidents are not related but this sends an unfavorable message abroad. In fact, we are now the only country in Hong Kong’s OTA (Outbound travel advisory) in the SEVERE THREAT category where their citizens are advised to “avoid all travel”.

I kinda dread going to work tomorrow. I expect that I will be asked questions I don’t have answers to.

Condolence to the families of the victims.

18 comments

  1. my boss is a HK national din and I texted him agad to apologize for what happened. kahit san anggulo mo tignan, may mali talaga sa pag-handle ng mga Police force. di na sana umabot sa worst situation. a lot has been happening lately in the Philippines which involves foreign guests. it will take a lot of hard work to promote tourism in our country. kahit tayong mga Pinoy di na safe sa sarili nating bansa. so sad… 🙁

  2. that thought occurred to me too, ate betchay.. ang hirap kaya sagutin mga tanong ng mga bata just in case lang nagwo-work pa ko..

    1. It wasn’t bad as i’d expected, unlike when they showed the “My Way” clip on KBS Sponge. Anyway, one of my co-workers told me that the Philippine police is worse than the Korean police. I just grinned since he’s a little leftist. And I know that he was thinking about the Yongsan incident when he said that.

      1. Actually totoo naman that our Policemen are incompetent when it comes to situation like this. sabi nga ni Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, he still applaud them for doing their job and risking their lives that eventhough they are not properly equipped (isa na dyan yung wala silang bullet proof vest) they were there. At ang malupit pa jan eh nag-practice pa sila ha pero wala rin nangyari. Nakakaawa rin naman sila kung titingnan mo kasi para silang itinapon sa gyera na wala silang dalang bala at panangga, at isa lang ata sa kanila ang may training sa hostage taking. Tsk.Tsk. Kelan kaya matututo ang gobyerno natin?…

        1. hi foxylady! oo nakakaawa nga sila kasi parang hindi nila alam ginagawa nila… panahon pa ata ni macoy mga gamit nila… stone age kaya?
          anyway, karaniwang tao rin ang kawawa pag may krisis sa pinas lalo na kung hindi preparado ang gobyerno… ay pwede nga pala sila tumawag sa PNRC – Philippine National Red Cross!

  3. Condolences to the families of the victims. This is embarrassing for the country. Every now and then, lots of foreigners are being murdered, robbed etc. The handling of the situation by the PNP/ negotiators looks very unprofessional. The future is still dim for the Philippines, unless peace and order is ensured.

  4. I think one of the best way to answer questions from your korean colleagues is that this is no way a direct, malicious attack against foreigners in the Philippines in general. Its probably random, i don’t know. This guy could have flagged down a local bus instead. I m really not so sure if he chose to hijacked a bus loaded with foreigners instead of local one.

    But of course the other incidents all over the country like extortion, murder and robbery where the victims are foreigners is a different story and truly embarrassing especially now that we are campaigning hard to boost tourism

  5. a lot of things went wrong yesterday. it was a day of what ifs most especially after seeing the outcome – the police could have handled it better, the media should have given them space, the people should not have crowded the bus etc. the eyes of the international community are on us right now and it’s very shameful indeed.

    what makes it worse is that there were Filipinos who were embarassed that they were Filipinos because of this incident. It is alright to condemn this act but to be shameful because you are a Filipino, that is too much. Crimes more vicious than this also happen in other countries. This is just an act of one person and it doesn’t characterize the whole Filipino nation. We need to unite to redeem ourselves and tell the world that despite what happened, we still welcome them here in our country.

    1. The embarrassing thing is not only because a Filipino murdered a group of innocent people, but also because as you have mentioned its because of the Filipino media, the way the police handled it etc.,a lot of what if’s .I think that’s embarrassing enough. We promoted our country as a tourist haven, and this is what they (tourist) got. We can not justify this by stating that things like this are worst in other countries. Murder is murder, regardless of venue or citizenship of the victims (local or foreigner) or how worse the case is, or number of victims. And yes everyone condemns it.

      We cannot even protect the locals, how much more our visitors?

    2. I was so tired when I got home last night since I didn’t sleep much on Monday. I surfed the forums until 4AM!

      As a Filipino, I was embarrassed at how the incident was handled (not embarrassed that I’m a Filipino). I’m not part of the police nor of the media but they are my “kababayans”.

  6. sad to say our police force will stick out their tongue and look up the ceiling to see if it can be done only an idiot will try and that we have become the laughing stock worldwide for the horrendous mishandling of the rescue. but the leaders of these keystone cops are so inured to criticism that they would admit shamelessly that they erred. their commanders are from the funny farm – heads should roll!

  7. i cried and couldn’t sleep when the last thing i saw on news were the dead bodies which were soaked in blood. There’s this hate page created by the Hong Kong nationals in facebook. They all hate the Philippines and tourism is badly affected.

    Meron pa dun comment “let’s not hire Filipino maids anymore.. ” they’re generalizing which is understandable as of this moment but I hope they won’t abuse the OFW’s there. There’s a black sheep in every family, likewise, there are are also bad and good people in each country. It could happen anywhere. I hope they don’t single us all out as bad eggs. We did not, after all, contribute to this incident.

  8. I think the ones who is greatly affected by the aftermath of this incident are our OFWs in HK. In the news earlier, it was said that there are two HK Nationals who cancelled their request for Domestic Helper. I know that this incident is something that will not be forgotten overnight, but I do hope and pray that our OFWs won’t suffer too much and that everyone will be healed and move on soon.

    It’s so sad that I even cried when I was watching this on TV. When I first saw the news at about 10 in the morning I thought he is just another one of those who desperately seeks attention and I never thought that it will end up that way. So sad. I really hope and pray that this won’t happen again. 🙁

  9. It´s unfortunate what had happened, but hostages crisis are everywhere, that´s the reality. The biggest problem is how the police handled the negotiation. What I cannot understand, the fact that the police used almost 11-15 hours of negotiation and didn´t even plan anything how they will pursue the hostage taker to lessen the casualties. There were less reports and too much confusions what Rolando Mendoza actually demanded during the talks, but I hope the police just agree with it and take him afterwards when there´s less people involved near to the scene. How police portrayed the sieged had been televised and you can see rightaway how amateur these uniformed men really are. Some of them doesn´t even wear a bullet proof vest. I am also hoping the chinese will less critical about this soon enough considering how they treated their own people who disagree against their government. In reality, there are lots of filipino who are not happy with chinese residents and Fil-chinese nationalities spreading and growing fast population in the Philippines. There are actually millions of chinese living in the Philippines today who most of them are acting like they owned the country. Civil war might be inevitable. It´s tragic!

  10. A few years ago in China…a Filipino family was murdered. Did you know this happened?
    .by Edel Sarmiento on Monday, August 30, 2010 at 3:04pm.

    So, after all this HK hostage hoopla, I finally found this. I happen to know one of the daughters who survived this incident in Tiananmen Square. She was a school mate / ka-carpoolmate in college. After all the drama that unfolded a few days ago, I remembered her and what happened to her a few years ago. She suffered the same tragedy, but did you hear any of it in the news? Did you hear Filipinos cursing and banning all travels to China? Did you see hate pages formed by Filipinos to the Chinese? Are we judging the entire Chinese race for what happened? Well, just my thoughts about how this whole thing was blown out of proportion.
    Anyway, here’s what I found, while I was reading the comments in the post “What do you mean, only in the Philippines?” by Trixie Cruz – Angeles. This was posted by a guy named Ramon Sunico:
    “Just to set some perspective: something from a writer friends at a USIS-related group:
    “The known facts are these:
    On August 19, 2005, Emmanuel Madrigal, a Manila-based Filipino executive of the multinational Shell, was visiting Beijing on v…acation with his wife Vivian, his daugher Regina Mia, and two younger daughters. That day, they rode a tourist bus to Tiananmen Square, the heart of the capitol.
    Upon arriving at the square, Emmanuel Madrigal was the first to descend from the bus, followed by Vivian and Regina Mia. A Chinese man wielding a scythe–in some reports it was described as a sword–suddenly appeared out of nowhere and hacked Emmanuel across his torso. He died on the spot. Theman also attacked and seriously wounded Vivian. He then slashed at and killed Regina Mia. By this time, bystanders were trying to subdue the man, and Vivian shouted to her two other daughters to get away and save themselves. Somehow the girls made their way back to the hotel. Vivian was brought to a Beijing hospital, where she died several days later of her injuries.
    An Associated Press report still circulating on the internet states that the killer was Wang Gongzuo, 25, a farmer from eastern China’s Jiangsu province. He was sentenced to death for the murder of the Madrigals and executed a few weeks later, in September. The AP report states: ‘Wang’s motive for killing the two is unclear. After the incident occurred the Beijing Morning Post reported that he had wanted to ‘affect society using extreme actions,’ but didn’t elaborate.”

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