31 August 2010
Manila hostage crisis
It has been a rather heavy week for Hong Kong this week due to the hostage crisis that happened in Manila last Monday, which has resulted in 8 hostages killed along with the gunman. One week has past, and the sad air still sighs with the losses.
On 23rd August, former high-ranking police officer Rolando Mendoza has held 25 men, most of them Hong Kong tourists, in a Hong Thai tour bus. He demands himself to be reinstated in the police force as he was sacked earlier this year over claims of extortion.
During early negotiations, nine people were freed from the bus. As evening comes first gunshots were fired, and the bus driver fled to safety, leaving 15 hostages on board. Due to the gunshots the bus driver claimed that all remaining hostages were killed.
Mendoza was agitated by the news, especially after the arrest of his brother, also a policeman who was earlier drafted to help with the negotiation. At the end, SWAT team moved in and finally stormed the bus after several attempts to break into the vehicle. The gunman was killed, but along him 8 hostages were killed, 8 more were wounded, as well as 2 bystanders who were hit by stray bullets.
I was shocked at how the hostage crisis has ended. There has been a lot of reports on how it all could have been improved, or how the bloodshed could have been prevented, perhaps even leaving the gunman alive at the end. But as the hostage crisis drags on for hours, the whole situation only went grimmer and grimmer. Back here in Hong Kong, pedestrians stood still and quiet outside the large television screens of malls and shops showing live coverage of the event. It was an eerily quiet atmosphere, especially in a city where it was supposed to be lively and busy.
My deepest condolences for the victims who have suffered in the Manila hostage crisis. The bloodshed really could have been avoided, but what has happened has happened. A thorough investigation is being carried out by both the Filipino authorities and the Hong Kong Police force, and hopefully the truth behind this scenario will be fully revealed, giving the victims a proper justice for what has happened.
I know there has been a lot of negative things being said about the Filipino government, the police force, and the media, but whatever happens, please don't hate the local innocent people, or put one's hatred towards them. Hong Kong has a lot of domestic workers working for numerous Hong Kong families, and many of them are very concerned about what has happened too - not just the Chinese Hongkongers. People of various ethnics are also concerned about it too, so instead of hatred, let us look into how things can be mended for the future, and for the best of all.
Picture taken by Frost from OurToysLand forum
Other images were taken from Guardians, Yahoo! Hong Kong News
Tags: Hong Kong