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First Report of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee on the August 23, 2010 Rizal Park Hostage-taking Incident

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(Second of Two Parts)

Here is the second part of the First Report of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee on the August 23, 2010 Rizal Park Hostage-taking Incident: SEQUENCE OF EVENTS, EVALUATION and RECOMMENDATIONS, IIRC, September 16, 2010:

Amansec noticed that mobile patrol cars started to come and increase in number around the vicinity. A policeman then approached her and told her to go with him to his superior. The police superior just took her name and cellular phone number. The police superior did not talk to her again.

Amansec called Lubang and asked Mendoza if she could approach the bus to read what was posted on the bus windshield. Mendoza allowed her to approach the bus. Amansec told the police superior about her conversation with Mendoza but the police superior did not allow her to approach the bus.

At 10:00 a.m., then PNP Chief, Director General Jesus Versoza, was in his office at Camp Crame when he was informed of the hostage-taking incident. He immediately contacted the Director of the NCRPO, Police Director Leocadio Santiago Jr. and General Magtibay and told them to create the Crisis Management Committee. He also convened the Command Group and monitored at the National Operation Center to supervise and give assistance if necessary.

At 10:15 a.m., Police Superintendent (Lt. Col.) Nelson T. Yabut was at the DPSB office at MPD Headquarters when he was informed by the Duty Desk Officer of an on-going hostage-taking incident. He was directed by Col. Posadas to augment Police Station 5 for crowd control.

At around 10:30 a.m., Police Senior Superintendent (Colonel) Robert G. Po, Chief of the MPD District Directorial Staff, was ordered by Gen. Magtibay to inform Police Senior Superintendent (Colonel) Alex Gutierrez (Deputy District Director for Administration) and Police Senior Superintendent (Colonel) Fidel Posadas (Deputy District Director for Operations) to report to Magtibay at the Luneta PCP because of a hostage-taking incident.[53] Magtibay thus activated the Crisis Management Task Group. He also designated Col. Yebra as Chief Negotiator and Major Salvador as Assistant Negotiator.

At past 10:00 a.m., Manila Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso was with Manila Mayor Alfred Lim in their regular department heads Monday meeting when Col. Alex Gutierrez who was at the meeting announced that there is an ongoing hostage-taking in front of the Grandstand involving foreigners. Mayor Lim immediately gave instructions to Col. Gutierrez to cordon off and proceed to the area.

By that time, local and international media were calling City Hall for interview so the Vice Mayor called Magtibay and the General told him that the hostages were Hong Kong (Chinese) nationals and not Koreans and that the hostage-taker was a dismissed police officer, Captain Rolando Mendoza. Moreno was instructed by the Mayor to go ahead to the area and assess everything for any assistance that the City may give.

*First Release

At around 10:30 a.m., a female member of the tour group, Li TSUI Fung-Kwan, wife of LI Yick-biu, who was seated at Seats 8CD raised her hand and said “Excuse me sir, I have upset stomach.” Mendoza ordered Chan to accompany LI TSUI to a comfort room and they were allowed to get off the bus.

When they got off the bus, they were met by Amansec and they looked for a toilet.As they got off the bus, Mendoza told Chan “Sige baba na kayo, tumawag kayo sa NCRPO at tatawag din ako dun para ipaalam na hostage ko na itong bus nyo.” (Alright you get off, call NCRPO and I will also call them to tell them that I have taken this bus hostage.)

When they went out of the toilet, Chan and Li were met by General Magtibay, whose name Amansec knew because of his nameplate, other policemen, and the media.[59] Diana and Li Tsui still intended to go back to the bus but were stopped by the police. Diana just told them that Li Tdui’s husband Li Yick-biu was still in the bus.

Magtibay asked Amansec how she was able to communicate with Mendoza and she said through the phone of Lubang whose number she gave to Magtibay.
Chan, Li Tsui, and Amansec were then brought to the Luneta Police Community Precinct (PCP) at the northern corner of Independence Avenue beside Manila Hotel. While at the holding area, not a single policeman talked to Amansec and the two released hostages (Chan and LI TSUI). Only the Red Cross personnel talked to them and asked for the names of the released hostages.

Li Tsui told a Red Cross staff that his husband was sick and might need to take medicine.Chan and Li Tsui stayed there and Chan was able to assist six (6) tour group members released by Mendoza back to Manila Pavilion.

Later in the afternoon, the Red Cross brought the released Chinese hostages to the Manila Pavilion. Aloysius Alvarez was the team leader of the Red Cross who brought the released hostages to the Pavilion.

*Initial Contact and Demands

At around 11:00 a.m., Colonels Po and Posadas arrived at the Luneta PCP as instructed by Gen. Magtibay. Colonel Gutierrez was already there when they arrived. Before 11:00 a.m., Major Salvador contacted Mendoza through the cell phone of Lubang. He introduced himself and Mendoza remembered him as a talking buddy while in floating status at Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan. Mendoza allowed Salvador to approach the bus but told him to first remove his bullet proof vest.

Major Salvador then approached the driver’s window and talked to Mendoza. Mendoza demanded that an Order be issued for his immediate reinstatement to the service. If the same was granted, Mendoza would immediately handcuff himself and surrender. He also said he had two grenades. He then told Salvador to copy what was written on the white cartolina paper on the windshield of the bus.

While copying the contents of the paper, Salvador tested the thickness of the windshield and found it very thick. The contents of the paper were criminal case numbers and the names of Deputy Ombudsman Gonzales, Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro, and Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

After copying the paper, Salvador went back to the driver’s window and offered Mendoza food and drinks for the hostages. Mendoza refused, saying the travel agency management has already ordered food for them and that he might be drugged.

At 11:00 a.m., while still talking to Mendoza, Salvador saw Col. Yebra waving at him from 50 meters away. He told Mendoza that Yebra has already arrived and that he was taking over as negotiator. Mendoza said “Ayoko sa kanya! Ikaw ang gusto kong kausap.” (I don’t want him! I want to deal with you.) Salvador told Mendoza that he will relay this to Yebra and then went to Yebra. Salvador told Yebra of Mendoza’s demands, weapons, attitude and refusal to talk to anyone but Salvador.

Yebra called Mendoza through Lubang’s cellphone. Yebra asked Mendoza if he could approach the bus and talk to him and Mendoza agreed. When Salvador and Yebra reached the bus, the latter asked Mendoza “Rol ano ba ang problema?” (Rol what is the problem?) to which Mendoza replied “Sir, gusto ko lang ng order para maibalik ako sa serbisyo para matapos na ito, bababa na ako” (Sir, I just want an order reinstating me in the service so this will end and I will step down from here).

Mendoza then handed a case folder on his dismissal to Yebra and told him to immediately deliver the same to Secretary Leila De Lima of the Department of Justice and for Secretary De Lima to personally call Yebra. Before they left, Lubang asked for a battery for his cellphone. They just gave him the cellphone of PO2 Denison Rivera. Salvador then gave the case folder to PO2 Rivera for delivery to Sec. De Lima. Yebra then relayed Mendoza’s demands to the crisis committee composed of Gen. Magtibay, Col. Posadas, Col. Gutierrez and Col. Po.

According to Lubang, it was around 12:30 p.m. when Major Salvador, who was wearing an orange shirt, approached the bus and talked to Mendoza through the driver’s window.Salvador asked “Bok ano ba nais mo at bakit ka nandito?” (Bok, what do you want and why are you here?).
Mendoza replied “Bok yun lang kaso ko sa Ombudsman ang gusto kong madinig dito, wag kayong magalala, wala naman mangyayari pag nasunod ang mga gusto ko, pangako yan” (Bok the only thing I want known here is my Ombudsman case, don’t worry, nothing will happen if my demands are met, that’s a promise).

Mendoza told Salvador to relay his demands written on the paper posted on the bus windshield. Salvador told Mendoza that he will just copy what was written on the paper and Mendoza gave him a pen and paper. Salvador then copied what was posted on the windshield then left. Lubang asked Mendoza who the man in orange shirt was. Mendoza replied that it was Major Salvador.

After 15 minutes, Salvador returned this time with Col. Yebra who was wearing a white long sleeve shirt. Mendoza called Yebra “Sir” and Yebra said “Rol, ano ba ang problema? Baka puwede nating pag-usapan?” (Rol, what is the problem? Maybe we can talk about it?).

Mendoza replied “Sige sir, baka puwedeng maipadala itong mga papeles ko sa Ombudsman at sa DOJ, kay Secretary De Lima, para mamaya lang ay malaman ko ang sagot” (Alright sir, maybe you can send these documents to the Ombudsman and to the DOJ, to Secretary De Lima, so that in just a while I will know the answer).

Yebra replied “Sige padala natin. Baka puwede namang magpalabas ka diyan kahit dalawa?” (Alright we will send it. Maybe you can release a couple of hostages?). Mendoza said “Sige pag-iisipan ko sir, basta bigayan tayo” (Alright I will think about it sir as long as we make fair exchanges).

After the exchange, Salvador handed Mendoza’s documents to PO2 Rivera and ordered him to photocopy the same in two sets and deliver one set to Secretary De Lima. While having the documents photocopied, he was ordered back to the Luneta PCP. Rivera gave the documents to Magtibay.

Vice Mayor Isko Moreno was there and told him that it would be better if the documents be brought to the Ombudsman instead of the Department of Justice since Mendoza’s case was an Ombudsman case. Magtibay then ordered Rivera again to photocopy the documents and deliver the same to the DOJ. After photocopying, he was called again to the PCP. He understood the order to mean not to deliver the documents to DOJ anymore. At the PCP, Isko Moreno got one copy and the original was kept by Rivera.

*Second Release

At around 11:00 a.m., Mendoza called three children and a female adult hostage and let them get off the bus.[75] Mrs. Fu Tsang Yee-lai told Mendoza in English that her two children were feeling unwell. Mendoza told her to get off with her two children. At this point, a tour member asked Mrs. Fu to take along Mrs. Wong’s son, Wong Ching-yat. Mendoza did not object and Mrs. Fu and the three children got off the bus. (Note: Chan Kwok-chu’s recollection put Mrs. Fu’s release after that of Li Yick-biu).

Amansec, Chan and Li were at the PCP when the four released hostages arrived.

Salvador saw Yebra approaching the bus and he followed him. Mendoza released four hostages and the negotiators accompanied them to the Control Center located at the Quirino Grandstand.This hostage release was recounted in the sworn statement of Salvador as having taken place at 12:00 p.m.)

At this point, Mendoza noticed that Chan Kwok-chu and Yik Siu-ling were sitting together. He ordered Yik Siu-ling to transfer back to the third row right side in front (Seats 3CD) and told Egor Cruz to sit beside Chan. While Egor sat beside Chan, the latter noticed that he was sending and receiving several messages on his cellular phone.

At around 11:30 a.m., while at the holding area for released hostages at the Luneta PCP, Amansec went to Magtibay who was inside a room at the PCP and told him that she will be sending food and water to the hostages. Magtibay replied that it will be allowed but it had to wait. Amansec had someone get the food and water at once.

*Midday

Before 12:00 p.m., Salvador was approached by a man who introduced himself as Roberto Agojo, an adviser and co-godparent (kumpare) of Mendoza who requested that he be allowed to approach the bus and talk to Mendoza. Salvador denied his request.

At 12:00, at the National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Police Superintendent (Colonel) Remus B. Medina, Chief of the Regional Police Intelligence and Operations Unit of the NCRPO, was instructed by Police Director (General) Leocadio SC Santiago Jr., NCRPO Chief, to proceed to Malacanang Palace and to report to DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno to give the President a briefing and update on the ongoing hostage-taking incident.

At around noontime, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno arrived at the Quirino Grandstand and met with Magtibay[84] and Yebra. Moreno recalls that they told him that the hostage-taker wanted a review of his case with the Ombudsman. Mendoza was dismissed from the police service by the Ombudsman and moved for a reconsideration of said dismissal which was pending with the Ombudsman. Magtibay said he intends to talk with Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro about Mendoza’s demand so Moreno volunteered to go to the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City about 15 km. from Luneta so as not to diminish the presence of police officials at the crisis area.

At around 12:30 p.m., Mendoza went down the stairs of the bus and looked angry. He complained about what he heard on the radio regarding the false allegations in the “shabu-swallowing” case against him where he and his men allegedly forced a chef to swallow shabu which in turn became the basis for the filing of administrative and criminal complaints against him.

Mendoza demanded for a reporter and cameraman. The negotiators agreed to this in exchange for one of the hostages who was a diabetic (Li Yik-biu). Mendoza said he will think about it. He later released the diabetic hostage at 1:40 p.m.

At 12:37 p.m., Yebra and Salvador were at the side of the bus talking to Mendoza when Vice Mayor Isko Moreno called Yebra informing him that he was on his way to the Ombudsman. Moreno talked with Mendoza who thanked the Vice Mayor.

Yebra and Salvador said that Mendoza’s documents have already been sent and that it was Vice-Mayor Isko Moreno himself who was bringing them. Mendoza said “Pakibilisan lamang sir” (Just be quick sir). Yebra then handed a cellular phone to Mendoza and told him to talk to the Vice Mayor. Mendoza took the phone and talked to the Vice Mayor saying “Yes sir” then returned the phone to Yebra.

At 12:30 p.m., the wife of Mendoza came to the house of Melecia Gonzales together with Mendoza’s brother, Florencio. Mendoza’s wife asked her if she could drive them to Luneta in Manila. She acceded and they left for Manila.

*Late Lunch

The food that Amansec ordered arrived at 12:57 p.m. at the Luneta PCP.

At around 1:00 p.m., Col. Medina arrived at Malacanang from the NCRPO and reported to Undersecretary Rico Puno. He then briefed the President on the hostage-taking. During the briefing, the President ordered him that in case of an assault on the bus, the PNP Special Action Force Crisis Response Group (SAF-CRG) be used and that one ambulance per hostage should be readied.

Medina sent General Santiago text messages regarding the President’s orders and later called him again to repeat the orders of the President. Later, while he was still in the meeting with the President monitoring the hostage-taking on TV, General Magtibay called and Medina relayed to him the orders of the President to use the SAF-CRG in case of an assault on the bus. Magtibay said “Oo” (Yes) three times.

At past 1:00 p.m., Magtibay got in touch for the first time with Mayor Alfredo Lim as head of the Crisis Management Committee and was given instructions.[92] At 1:30 p.m., Mayor Lim also got a call from the President asking how the negotiations are doing and was instructed to make sure that the hostages are safe.

Between 1:40 and 1:45 p.m., reporter Erwin Tulfo arrived with a cameraman and went inside the cordoned area. The negotiators approached him and he said that he heard that  Mendoza was demanding for a reporter. They told him that Mendoza wanted a female reporter. Salvador also stated that the food for the hostages was delivered around this time.

A van containing some food approached the hostage bus. Salvador handed out the food to the bus. The hostages then started to eat. Mendoza did not eat.Lubang recalled that Mendoza did not want to eat because he might make a mess inside the bus.

Lubang noted that Mendoza posted white papers on the windows of the bus with the notes “3:00 Dead LOCK” and “MEDIA NOW”. Mendoza told him he wanted the media immediately so he can now voice out what he wanted. Chan Kwok-chu recalled that the food arrived at 2:30 p.m. Nebril distributed the food and beverages to the tour members. At this point Mendoza took off his jacket and Chan noticed that he was carrying a pistol on his right flank and a one-foot long army knife on his left.
Chan further recalled some seating arrangements of the hostages. He was seated on Seats 10CD. Lee Ying-chuen sat on 9CD directly in front of him. Lo Kam-fun sat on 10AB across the aisle from Chan. Leung Kam-wing sat on 9AB. Leung Song-xue Jason sat on 8AB. Chan remembered Wong Tze-lam and FU Cheuk-yan seated in front of Leung Song-xue Jason but cannot tell exactly where.

He later determined that Fu was seated at either 3AB or 4AB.

Shortly after the meal, Mendoza gave his phone to a female tour member in front who answered in Putonghua. CHAN heard her say “Understand” and “Got it”. Later, the tour members in front said that transport would be available at 3:00 p.m. to pick up the hostages. The atmosphere remained tranquil. Chan discussed with Tse Ting-chunn Masa, who was then still seated behind him at Seats 11CD, the possibility of fleeing through the emergency exit located between their seats but gave up the idea to avoid harm to other hostages if they escape.

*Third and Fourth Releases

At 2:00 p.m., Lubang got a call on his cellular phone from Yebra who told him to hand over his phone to Mendoza. Lubang just heard Mendoza say “Yes sir”. Mendoza then returned the phone to Lubang. After several minutes,

Mendoza called an old male hostage (Li Yick-biu) and let him get off the bus,asking “Diabetic? Who’s diabetic?” Li stood up. Mendoza waved at Li and signaled him to go to the front and took him to the door. However, Li left his handbag and asked Mendoza if Li can get his bag.

Li got his bag and Mendoza then led Li again to the entrance of the bus, put his hand on Li’s shoulder and waved to Yebra signaling him to take Li off the bus.[103] The elderly Ms. Law Kam-fun also got up to follow and help Li Yick-biu but Mendoza shouted and waved his hand telling her to go back to her seat.

After the elderly Li got off the bus, Mendoza smiled saying that now they might send him a reporter and Lubang will be famous.[105] (Note: Salvador estimated the release to have taken place at 1:40 p.m.)

At around 2:00 p.m., Vice Mayor Isko Moreno left for the Ombudsman to relay the demand of Mendoza regarding his Motion for Reconsideration pending with said office.[106] At 2:16 p.m., Amansec got a text from Lubang asking for diesel for the bus. She went to Magtibay and showed her the text message and Magtibay ordered diesel fuel to be brought to the bus. Amansec then sent a text message to Lubang that the diesel fuel was on the way.

This request for diesel fuel was recounted by Salvador to have taken place at 1:50 p.m. Yebra asked for another hostage in exchange for the diesel. Mendoza replied that he will think about it.[108] After several minutes again, Mendoza called Rigor (Egor Cruz) to the front and let him get off the bus also.

People from the British Embassy, the Hong Kong press, the Department of Tourism descended upon the holding area. British Embassy people asked if there were British citizens among the hostages. Upon learning that there were indeed British citizens, the Red Cross accompanied them to the Manila Pavilion.
At 2:30 p.m., PNP Chief Jesus Versoza left Manila for Cagayan de Oro City to attend a multi-sector forum and to meet with the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee. With him was the 3rd in rank, Police Deputy General for Operations Bacalzo. The 2nd in rank, Police Deputy Director General Perfecto Palad was in La Union. The 4th in rank in the PNP hierarchy, Police Deputy General Benjamin Belarmino, Jr., was left at the National Operation Center.

*Gregorio
After the request for diesel fuel was made, Salvador felt dizzy and went to an ambulance to have his blood pressure checked. He was then informed that a man, who later turned out to be SPO2 Gregorio Mendoza, was approaching the bus. He ran after Gregorio and stopped him. Gregorio said he was going to his brother. He said he was the only one who can persuade his brother to surrender. Salvador noticed a bulk on his right waist and told him that he was carrying a firearm and Gregorio replied that he was a policeman. Salvador then disarmed him. Mendoza shouted from the bus “Kapatid ko yan! Bakit mo kinuha ang baril niya e pulis yan!” (That’s my brother! Why did you take his gun when he’s a policeman!). Salvador replied “Ah kapatid mo siya, bok wala pang clearance! Pag meron na samahan ko siya dito uli!” (He’s your brother but he has no clearance yet. When he has one I will come back here with him.)

Mendoza replied “Sige bok, basta ibalik mo ang baril niya dahil pulis din yan” (Alright, just return his gun because he is also a policeman.)

It was past 2:00 p.m. when Salvador turned over Gregorio and his gun to the Crisis Committee. He then went to get a working throw phone and placed it on the bus.

Lubang recounted that it was at past 3:00 p.m. when Gregorio approached the bus and Mendoza told Lubang that the man walking towards them was his brother. Mendoza told Lubang to call Gregorio and the latter approached the bus with Salvador and another uniformed policeman. Mendoza told Salvador that Gregorio was his brother and that he was also a policeman.

Salvador replied that he didn’t know who Gregorio was. Mendoza was not able to talk to Gregorio because he just returned to the police post with Salvador.

At 2:30 p.m., the diesel fuel arrived and Salvador refueled the bus. He again tested the thickness of the glass. At 3:00 p.m., Mendoza called the negotiators and demanded for a lady reporter and a cameraman. Yebra asked if Mendoza had any particular reporter in mind.

Mendoza replied that he wanted Susan Enriquez of GMA 7. The two then went to the Crisis Committee and relayed the demand for a lady reporter and cameraman.

Yebra recalled it was at this point when Mendoza’s demand for a reporter was denied that he first attempted a warning shot but his rifle jammed.

*Calls from the Ombudsman

At the Ombudsman, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno met with Tanodbayan (Ombudsman) Merceditas Gutierrez, Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro, Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Mark Jalandoni, Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Agencies Emilio Gonzales III, and Special Prosecutor Wendell Sulit. During their meeting, Moreno called Yebra.

Salvador and Yebra were at the driver’s side of the bus when Moreno called asking if he could talk to Mendoza. The Vice Mayor told Mendoza that he was already at the Ombudsman and asked him if there is anyone he wanted to talk to at the Ombudsman.

Mendoza was very thankful to Moreno and requested if he could talk to a certain Director Gonzales of the Ombudsman.

Mendoza talked with Deputy Ombudsman Gonzalesand Salvador overheard Mendoza shouting and uttering invectives “Putang ina mo, humihingi ka pa ng P150,000 para sa kaso ko, kung may mamamatay dito kasalanan mo lahat!” (You son of a bitch, you are asking for P150,000 for my case, if anyone dies here it’s all your fault!).

Moreno overheard Gonzalez say “O wala akong alam diyan” (I don’t know anything about that).Mendoza then talked with Tanodbayan (Ombudsman) Gutierrez who assured him that they will review his case.Mendoza’s voice mellowed and said “Mam salamat po, antayin ko na lang ang Order dito” (Mam thank you, I will just wait for the Order here).

Moreno then asked Mendoza for the release of five hostages. Mendoza said he will think about it.After the conversation, Mendoza asked for food and water again.

Past the 3:00 deadline, Mendoza was at the back of the bus talking to his brother and telling him that he wanted the media.

The letter to Mendoza was drafted on paper in front of the group meeting at the Ombudsman. The unwritten agreement was for Mendoza’s case to be reviewed by the Ombudsman in ten days. Moreno’s travel and the Ombudsman meeting took three hours.

Melecia Gonzales arrived at Luneta with Mendoza’s wife at around 3:00 p.m. Once in Luneta near the Grandstand, Gonzales texted Mendoza that Agojo was working things out with the police. She then waved to Mendoza inside the bus.

*Fifth Release

Food was delivered for the second time at 3:30 p.m.Chan Kwok-chu recalled that it was around the time when the food was delivered that Nebril was released from the bus by Mendoza.

At around or before 4:00 p.m., Mendoza called Nebril “Bumaba ka na, tawag ka ni General.” (You go down now. The General is asking for you.)and let him get off the bus (Note: Salvador’s account put Nebril’s release at 4:30 p.m.).

Nebril was supposed to have been among the hostages released earlier but refused telling Mendoza “Trabaho lang po sir, binabantayan ko ang mga guests ko po.” (It’s just my job sir to look after my guests.) to which Mendoza replied “Matigas ka” (You are bold).

Two policemen escorted him to the back of the Grandstand and they took a mobile patrol to the PCP where he was questioned and investigated by the police. He was also interviewed by Susan Enriquez.

Amansec claims that not a single policeman interviewed or asked questions from Nebril while he was at the holding area.

At the Ombudsman, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno learned that a hostage was released so he asked Yebra if he could talk with Mendoza again. Moreno told Mendoza “Pare thank you ha kaya lang ang hina ko sa iyo, eh, lima ang hinihingi ko, isa lang ang binigay mo. Huwag ka lang mag-alala, we are now tackling your issue.” (Buddy thank you but it appears I am not in your good grace, I was asking for five you gave me only one. Do not worry we are now tackling your issue.). Mendoza replied in a polite manner.

*Susan Enriquez

At 4:22 p.m., Lubang texted Amansec saying that Mendoza was requesting for a female reporter. Amansec showed the text message to Magtibay and Magtibay called Susan Enriquez of GMA 7.[137] Between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m., Yebra called Mendoza and told him that his request for a lady reporter and cameraman was approved on the condition that the interview will be conducted with the reporter outside the bus.

Mendoza refused the condition since he wanted the interview conducted inside the bus. Yebra told Mendoza that if he insists in his demand, clearance has to be acquired from the Crisis Committee. No reply was heard by the negotiators from Mendoza.

Magtibay did not want Enriquez to go to the bus so he asked Amansec to call Lubang’s phone and Enriquez talked with the hostage-taker for about 20 minutes. Magtibay then told Enriquez to leave the PCP without asking her what she and Mendoza talked about over the phone.

At around 5:00 p.m., Col. Medina was told by the President that they will just see each other later. He then left Malacanang and proceeded to the MPD Headquarters with Usec. Puno at 5:30 p.m. They arrived at MPD at 5:45 and met Gen. Santiago who ordered Medina to proceed to Quirino Grandstand to link up with the SAF team consisting of 16 men including snipers which was already deployed at the southern end of the Grandstand at 5:30 p.m. upon the orders of Gen. Santiago.

At around past 5:00 p.m., Mendoza talked to someone over the phone whom he called “’Tol” (brother). Mendoza was then positioned at the other end of the bus and Lubang could only hear him say “’Tol ‘wag kang papayag ‘tol” (Brother don’t agree to them).

At 5:10 p.m., Mayor Lim also arrived at the Luneta PCP for the first time that day.He saw Gregorio and asked him why his brother hostaged a bus. Gregorio replied that what happened to Mendoza was wrong, that he was dismissed even when there was a motion for reconsideration. Lim asked why they did not write to the Ombudsman.

Gregorio replied that the Ombudsman is in hot water so they agreed to come out with it already. He continued that what they wanted was the vindication of his name and the restoration of his honor and to see to it that reinstatement is made.

Ombudsman Letter Vice Mayor Isko Moreno arrived at the Luneta PCP from the Ombudsman between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. He saw Mayor Lim with the police generals and officials and handed the letter to him. The letter to Mendoza from the Ombudsman was read in the presence of Gregorio and he was asked if the letter will help Mendoza and is the means for his situation to improve. Gregorio said yes. The negotiators then proceeded with Gregorio to the bus.

Lubang recalled that before 6:00 p.m. Mendoza called the tour group leader (TSE Ting-chunn Masa) who was seated at the back of the bus to the front and handcuffed him to the handlebar of the refrigerator near the door of the bus.

According to Chan, Mendoza pointed at Tse Ting-chunn Masa who was seating behind Chan at Seats 11CD and signaled him to go to the front near the door of the bus.

At 6:03 p.m., Michael Rogas of Radio Mo Network (RMN) started his live interview with Mendoza. In the interview Mendoza expressed hope on the outcome of the Ombudsman negotiations of the Vice Mayor, expecting a reversal of his dismissal. He also expressed reservations on releasing the hostages if the decision of the Ombudsman is not in his favor. He then recited the facts of his administrative case live on radio.

At 6:12 p.m., Mendoza announced live on air over RMN the approach of the negotiators and Gregorio and handed over the phone to Lubang. Rogas talked to Lubang and listened in on the conversation at the other end of the line as his broadcast continued.

At 6:14 p.m., Yebra handed the Ombudsman letter to Mendoza and the latter started to read its contents over live radio at the request of Rogas. After reading the letter, Mendoza said that the letter was garbage and that what he needed was a decision reversing or sustaining the decision, and that he would have even preferred a decision dismissing his reconsideration rather than a letter promising another delay in the resolution of his case.

All the while that Mendoza was talking to Yebra, Rogas kept on calling his attention to continue their live interview in the middle of the hostage negotiations. Mendoza then threatened to make an example out of one of the hostages and told people to step aside. Rogas continued his live interview asking Mendoza questions for five minutes as the negotiators waited outside for him to finish.

Yebra then asked if it is alright with Mendoza if his dismissal is recalled and Mendoza is reinstated, pending the resolution of his motion for reconsideration with the Ombudsman. Mendoza said “Alright, alright”. Yebra asked if the hostage-taking will then end, Mendoza said they will talk again. At 6:20, Mendoza fired a shot.

At 6:17 p.m., Salvador saw Gregorio and Yebra approach the bus so he ran to join them. When they reached the driver’s window of the bus, Yebra handed a brown envelope to Mendoza.

Mendoza was talking on the phone when he opened and read the contents of the envelope. Mendoza then said “Basura yan sir! Niloloko nyo lang ako! Hindi ito ang hinahanap ko, Order and kailangan ko!” (That is garbage sir! You are just fooling me! This is not what I am looking for, what I need is an Order!). Mendoza returned the envelope to Yebra who proposed “What if mapapayag ko ang boss ko sa PNP giving an Order temporarily suspending the implementation of your dismissal [and] reinstating you to police service, matatapos na ba ito? Titigilan na ba natin ito?” (What if I am able to convince my boss in the PNP to give an Order temporarily suspending the implementation of your dismissal [and] reinstating you to police service, will this end? Will we put an end to this?).

Mendoza’s reply was “Sige pag-usapan natin uli mamaya” (Alright let’s talk about it again later). They were about to leave when Gregorio told Mendoza “’Tol, hindi pa nito ibinabalik ang baril ko” (Brother, this one has not returned my gun yet) while pointing at Salvador.

Mendoza told Salvador “Bakit hindi mo pa ibinabalik ang baril niya, ibalik mo na!” (Why haven’t you returned his gun yet, you return it now!). Yebra replied that Mendoza’s gun was at the ACP and that it would be returned once the hostage-taking is over. Gregorio told Mendoza “’Tol pag hindi ibinalik and baril ko, wag ka ng pumayag sa usap...(PNA)




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