A former Philippine police officer-Rolando Mendoza hijacked a tourism bus to ask for reinstatement. His requirement was rejected by Philippine government, which brought a bloody end to the bus hijacking drama- eight Hong Kong tourists dead and seven injured.
Philippine policemen’s appalling professional standards and the lack of strategic planning made observers both angry and sad and were accused by global media.
1) What was in the envelope?
The hostage taker-Rolando Mendoza got an envelope prepared by the government after presenting his requirement of reinstatement. The government claimed that there were official appealing papers that could help him. Unexpectedly, Mendoza was furious when he saw the envelope. Said by the deputy mayor of Manila, the envelope should have facilitated to ease the situation. If that could be true, why was Mendoza furious? From Mendoza’s reaction, the appearance of that envelope only irritated him.
2) What kind of result did Philippine government want?
It could be assumed that Mendoza wanted to have negotiation with the government and brought the whole situation into peaceful end because he did not hurt anyone till afternoon. The pictures taken by media showed that tourists in the bus were composed. Just image a guy who handed M-16 assault rifle standing in front of you and can gun you down anytime, could you be composed? So it can even be deduced that the gunman might have said, “I just want to threaten the government, so you don’t have to be scared.”
By contrast, I thought that government was with concealed intentions. It is the Philippine government that wanted Mendoza to gun down hostages; in that case, the government could get rid of him reasonably. Because if the event was brought into peace settlement, Mendoza would be arrested and investigated; meanwhile, media power would be involved in. The worst case could be some internal governors’ interest would be ruined or something behind the scene might be exposed. Plus the case had raised broad focus of global media; black case work would be hard to operate. Further, if Mendoza killed hostages, the end would be, first, government could shoot him perfectly justifiably; second, the emotional stance of media would lead the focus to Mendoza. It would be even impossible to fully investigate the event truth.
The above is hypothesis. Then we could figure out that some questionable details of the event sequence supported the hypothesis.
Evidence to support
1) The bus driver
He told the rescue team that ALL hostages had been killed and then the team began to storm. As a matter of fact, not all hostages had been killed. Just think it over, what was the motive of the liar? Could it be reasonable that the driver was sitting in the front of the bus and not clear about what happened in the rear of the bus? It can’t be true. He would definitely hear the gun shot because he was not a deaf guy. He lied without motive. So it is reasonable to doubt that he was forced by the Philippine police to deliver the message. So that the police could storm with an appropriate reason. Plus the driver was controlled by the police after he ran out of the bus. No one could what happened to the driver.
2) Philippine police arrested Mendoza’s younger brother
That action totally irritated the hostage taker. Are Philippine police officers idiots? Relating to that unknown envelope, we could have a bold claim that the content would be messages that threaten Mendoza with his families.
3) Mendoza was an outstanding police officer
According to some Philippine local news these days, it was all commented that Mendoza was an out-performed police and a family man. He was wrongly fired due to some mistakes not made by him. He wanted to appeal. It is known by all that Philippine government was full of corruption. It was probable that Mendoza could not appeal through legitimate channel so he had to create a drama which would be influential enough. Involving foreign tourists could be partly out of the Philippine government’s control. We saw that he posted a piece of paper saying “Media Now” in the afternoon; however, the government did not allow any media to involve in. The reporters did not dare to talk to him, did they? Truth was that no media could approach the bus; no reporter could take a clear picture. Could it be man-made barrier? Further, the picture beside showed that the action of smashing the window was to destroy the evidence.
4) Is Philippine SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics Teams) incapable?
It was not that Philippine policemen were not capable enough to rescue but that they might have been told to pretend to be incapable; their goal was only to kill Mendoza. Otherwise, no SWAT Teams in the world would pull the bus door with rope and smash the window with hammer. And besides, kidnapping was a Philippines’ pastime.
5) Wording of China’s government and Philippine government
China required rescuing at all cost. Yet, Philippine government had feedback, “We won’t negotiate; we can’t instigate his arrogance.” The unspoken words are “We don’t care about the safety of the hostages; we want Mendoza die.”