Did Rolando Mendoza Kill The Hong Kong Hostages?
Senior Police Rolando Mendoza was the winner of 17 awards and citations including the The 10 Outstanding Policemen of the Philippines from Jaycees International in 1986. He was set to retire on January 2011 after 30 years of exemplary service to his country.
But the Office of The Ombudsman dismissed him for alleged robbery in January 2009. Mendoza claimed innocence, the accuser never appeared during the hearings, and he filed a motion for reconsideration.
The Ombudsman ignored him so he was forced to take drastic action to force a review of his case.
Promise To Review
In Manila, he boarded a tour bus with 25 people, 21 are tourists from Hong Kong. Mendoza has released 9 hostages by 2 PM when assured by negotiators that the signed promise to review the case from the Ombudsman was on its way.
It arrived at 6 PM – 3 hours beyond the deadline he imposed.
And instead of a promise to review, it said his case was “Subject to review.”
He rejected that.
The bus driver, Alberto Lubang, was seen crawling out of the bus window and running away – with a piece of paper in his hand.
Most Probable Truth
The most probable truth was that Mendoza uncuffed the driver to deliver a message. But Lubang was already in a state of panic so declared that he escaped and that Mendoza was killing the hostages.
The police was also panicking so they grabbed the driver and hauled him away like a common criminal.
Most Fatal Mistake
The most fatal of the many mistakes by the police is the inhumane arrest of Mendoza’s brother Gregorio, a fellow police officer who was there and was in contact with Mendoza via cell phone.
Gregorio was manhandled like a murder suspect in the typical power-tripping arrogance of the Philippine police – and Mendoza and the entire world saw it live on TV.
Then gunshots were heard inside the bus.
Reinforced Fiber Glass
The SWAT team, which was a track record of killing hostages, swooped down to the bus and tried to break the reinforced fiber glass windows with sledgehammers.
One sledgehammer slipped from the hands of one of the officers, we can call him Thor, and the flying hammer disappeared inside the bus.
They also tied a rope to the bus door and pulled – not knowing that it swings inward.
Own Tear Gas
Then they lobbed tear gas canisters through the cracked windows, forced the emergency door and stormed inside – without wearing their standard gas masks.
And they all fell back, stung by their own tear gas.
Mendoza became exposed at this point, and he was gunned down – 2 shots on the head, 4 to the body, 1 on both hands.
Eight of the remaining 15 tourists were also shot dead.
It was 9 PM, 11 hours since it started.
Long Distance Range
Did Mendoza kill the 8 victims? Forensics showed that all 8 hostages were shot from long distance range.
Also, their bodies did not bear powder marks that indicate being shot at close range.
The autopsy was confirmed by Supt. Ruby Grace Diangson, head of the police crime laboratory division – and was also corroborated by the National Bureau of Investigation.
Apparently the SWAT team shot the hostages too.
Photo courtesy of Anda, Pangasinan