Bus hostage crisis averted

MANILA policemen shot dead a still unidentified man who tried to take hostage passengers of bus en route to Muntinlupa City at the corner of Taft Avenue and Pedro Gil Street in Manila on Thursday afternoon, according to Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

The still unidentified man boarded an HM Transport Bus at Luneta along Taft Avenue and declared he was taking the passengers hostage when the bus approached Pedro Gil Street and the bus pull the vehicle over and fled the bus.

The other passengers also fled the bus through an emergency exit at the back, but the perpetrator took hold of a Technological University of the Philippines co-ed. The girl, however, was able to extricate herself from the hostage-taker and also jumped out of the bus.

Policemen at the busy intersection then fired at and wounded the hostage-taker. He later died at Philippine General Hospital of gunshot wounds.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada congratulated Manila police for the “speedy response,” adding that the crime was “solved within 30 minutes.”

“The victim is safe and the hostage- taker is dead. He was shot by one of our policemen. We congratulate our policemen for doing a good job,” Estrada said in an interview on dzMM. “When they saw an opportunity, they shot him.”

It was the second time a bus hostage incident happened in Manila after the Rizal Park hostage crisis on Aug. 23, 2010 when a disgruntled former policeman Rolando Mendoza held hostage a tourist bus at the Quirino Grandstand.

The incident led to the death of eight tourists from Hong Kong as well as the hostage-taker and strained relations between the Philippines and Hong Kong.

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