Philippine police to conduct full probe on Monday's hostage taking incident

20:46, August 24, 2010      

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Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Jesus Verzosa said Tuesday that local police will conduct a full investigation of Monday's hostage-taking incident that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.

"The unfortunate outcome of the hostage drama in Manila warrants a full-dress investigation to establish all circumstances surrounding the incident," Verzosa said.

Verzosa said he is heading the Post Critical Incident Management Committee (PCIMC) that will determine whether or not the local police mishandled the hostage-taking incident.

The PNP is offering its "deepest sympathy" to the survivors and the families of the deceased, Verzosa said. But he declined to " make early conclusions except to say that our intention to peacefully end this hostage drama was spoiled when the hostage- taker suddenly exhibited violent behavior and began shooting the hostages."

The eleven-hour long hostage-taking incident in the Philippine capital ended with eight tourists from Hong Kong dead. The hostage- taker, former Police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, was killed after local police assaulted the bus to save the hostages.

PNP Spokesman Sr. Supt. Agrimero A Cruz Jr said that the PNP Command Group and Staff has noted some observations and defects in local police dealing with the hostage-taker.

The PNP spokesman said these observations include, among others, poor handling of the hostage negotiation, side issues and events that further agitated the hostage-taker and inadequate capability, skills, equipment and planning of the assault team.

The observations also include improper crowd control, inadequate training and competence of assault team leader, and non- compliance to media relations procedures in hostage situations, he said.

Cruz said their main concern has always been to ensure the safety of the hostages.

"Much as we want to dissect the entire incident to the smallest detail, we do not want to entertain speculations without the benefit of valid proof and reasonable basis," Cruz said.



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