Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Manila tourist bus gunman shot victims at close range, survivors say

Eyewitnesses of the Manila bus hijacking investigation in Hong Kong testified in court on Monday that gunman Rolando Mendoza--the sacked police officer who held hostage a bus full of HK tourists in August last year--did not intend to gun down the hostages, but became "extremely angry" upon seeing his cop brother on the TV monitor being arrested, in a report by GMA News.
The witnesses also testified that the fallen hostage-taker shot the hostages directly, according to the Radio Television Hong Kong.
The unidentified male survivor said in a report how the "gunman shot the hostages one by one with a machine gun at point-blank range."
The unknown witness continued by saying that the hostages discussed overcoming the hostage-taker cop in vain.
In a separate RTHK report, another witness, 16-year-old Wong Cheuk-Yiu, the youngest survivor and whose parents and aunt died in the bloody incident, affirmed the plan to pin down Mendoza but failed. A teenage girl whispered to Wong that she had to help deal with the armed hostage-taker, which she passed to her father.
Lee Ying-chuen told the court of the plan she had with tourist Ken Leung and tour leader Masa Tse to grab the hostage-taker's weapons. Unfortunately, both Leung and Tse were killed.
The HK probe is being carried to resolve the issue whether the eight hostages died due to the "friendly" fire during the botched rescue mission or in the hands of police hostage-taker.
It was earlier reported that the witnesses testified on the possible errors of the Philippine police during the bloody rescue operations.
Majority of the more than a hundred Filipino witnesses declined HK's invitation to testify.
This issue has drained the Philippine-Hong Kong relations with people staging a rally in the Chinese territory at one point and issued a travel ban to Manila.
Details of this story here.

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