Philippines police: Authorities botched hostage rescue.

Authorities botched rescue efforts during a deadly hostage situation on…

Authorities botched rescue efforts during a deadly hostage situation on a tourist bus, the Philippine National Police said in a statement Tuesday.

Manila police said former police officer Rolando Mendoza, upset at having lost his job, held hostage a busload of tourists from Hong Kong on Monday and killed eight of them before being shot dead.

“We do not want to pass sweeping judgment or 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,” Philippine National Police Chief Director General Jesus A. Verzosa said in a statement.

But a statement from the national police said officials have already noted “some observations and defects during their close monitoring of the unfolding events.”

The statement did not provide details, but lists “poor handling of the hostage negotiation,” “inadequate capability, skills, equipment and planning of the assault team,” “improper crowd control,” “inadequate training and competence of assault team leader” and “non-compliance to media relations procedures in hostage situations.”

Police said Tuesday that the bus had a television on board, which could have allowed the gunman to watch live coverage of the standoff.

Survivors were scheduled to leave the Philippines Tuesday as officials and family members called on authorities to investigate.

“The investigation has got to find out, what was the turning point? What happened?” Philippine National Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon told CNN Tuesday.

Source and Photo: CNN

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  • Eric

    The Red Cross response, “What happened?” Answer: Insanity happened. Since CNN was involved with this story, I am surprised the reporter didn’t assert his “rifle-made-him-do-it.” There are number of examples of people losing status or excluded from a group exhibiting violence, and many (the vast majority, actually) of those who don’t. While there are indicators, it is very difficult to pre-emptively intervene on these types of scenarios, especially when they are “clean-cut.” Consider the Roman adage, “And who shall guard the guards?” We will see more of this as society become more authoritarian and power-seekers are attracted to law enforcement positions and the “behavioral science” side either screens out too aggressive candidates (tending to yield a “force” of wimps) or inadequate (yielding the occasional “maniac cop” nightmare, as in this example). While check-and-balances in the selection and on-going evaluation processes can greatly reduce this, there is always the possibility because of change and stress generating “wild-card” scenarios like this very bad situation. Note: interesting to note the probable denial response of the hostages “waving hands.”