08-23-2010: Bloodshed at Quirino Grandstand Manila

Quirino Grandstand Flags. The location of the hostage drama

Indeed, Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, central Manila, capital of the Philippines, is one historical place. It was here where several presidents took their oaths, celebrate the independence of the country from the United States, concerts and a whole lot more. It is a landmark dedicated to the former President Elpidio Quirino. The Grandstand that I guess all Filipinos know and synonymous to Luneta and Rizal Park-just several meters away from the place. On August 01, 2010, the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, took oath here. On August 23, 2010-a massacre unfolds as a former policeman took hostage of Hong Kong nationals in a stand-off that left the hostage and several hostages dead, and a mark of trauma in the image of the Philippines in the international community. Luneta has seen another blood spilt over her domain.

At around 10AM, an former policeman, identified as Rolando Mendoza, took hostage of several foreign tourists in a bus whom are supposed to visit Luneta and the Manila Ocean Park as reported. Mendoza brought a high-powered M16 rifle-guns for “big boys/police.” He demands to be reinstated after being dismissed from his job due to an extortion case. Negotiations went all the way, several hostages were freed. However, it failed. At around 7PM, gunshots were fired from the bus and the police went on to storm the said bus. The storming left Mendoza dead, three (as of the moment) hostages are confirmed dead and several are injured.

Philippine Police storms the bus during hostage crisis - Photo from CNN/Getty Images

The weather seemed to have been cooperating with the mood at Manila. The storming scene sent heavy rainshowers, streaks of lightning and thunderstorm. Like Hollywood, but its for real!

The drama was beamed all over the world, through CNN, BBC, Reuters, Sahara India, KBS, Channel News Asia, Star Phoenix and TVE as I’ve monitored. Yes indeed, Philippines got international exposure-on a negative light!

August 23rd of the year 2010, is a sad day for the Philippines and for those who have lost their loved ones in the said drama. It ended up in a blood bath. Now that the crisis is over, as usual, there would be a lot of pointing fingers on who is responsible for the mess. Some say that we need to snap up our police force-check their morale and their psyche. The police image here in the Philippines has failed miserably, a few days before, a video exposé of police brutality was shown by the media. Looks like the Philippine National Police has a lot to do cleaning up the ranks! The Filipinos ask, is the Philippine National Police still trustworthy?

Quirino Grandstand, where the drama/crisis unfolded:

View Quirino Grandstand - Manila Hostage Drama in a larger map

On the other side, media was to blame with the full-blown coverage of the situation. I heard that the hostage-taker (or his brother) got weary because of the media coverage. Does the media help the dissemination or simply making matters worse? I’ve said earlier, the drama was broadcasted all over the world! So much for media mileage and Philippine exposure. Something that the new administration of the Department of Tourism should start cleaning up and do some damage control. Just as now, Hong Kong officials have issued a travel advisory against the Philippines. It would really be a great impact in our tourism industry-since the hostages were tourists!

There are a lot of questions that still bother the Filipinos right now, but the most pressing is, why does it even have to happen?

On August 23, 2010, at around 8PM, the hostage crisis was over. The body of Mendoza was at the door. Dead hostages were taken out of the bus and the strong survived this fateful day.

Tomorrow, I’ll try to visit the site. At least offer some prayers for those who have lost their lives and to seek out justice out of this mess.

The crisis is over. The question is, how to we move on from this juncture?

Indeed, the skies of Manila mourned. The thunder stopped but the rain still poured. The streets were flooded, with tears coming from the sky. El cielo estaba llorando sobre Manila, ese noche. The sky was crying over Manila, that night.

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8 comments to 08-23-2010: Bloodshed at Quirino Grandstand Manila

  • ericjohn




  • World Wide News Flash

    08-23-2010: Bloodshed at Quirino Grandstand Manila ……

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)

  • As of this hour, there are 7 casualties (hostage-taker and hostages killed included). Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has issued a statement at around midnight with regard of the said tragic incident yesterday at Luneta.

    Here’s the official statement from Malacañang Palace:

  • - - SWAT - -

    sasang-ayon ako kay ericjohn :)
    katuwa meaning mo ah. . ano naman ang sa SWAT? S-us WA-lang T-actics?
    tanong ko lang bakit parang nabanggit ang MMDA? ano function nila dun?

    the best mga people nauna pa sa medical team lumapit. .

    sana mabasa ni mike enriquez. . kainis lang ang ingay nya. . nagbibilang lang naman ng patrol car na di makaabante at ambulansya papalapit. . di na lang nanahimik sa pagtago sa FLOWER BOX. di maintinhan tuloy yung tunay na may maibabalita. .

  • Sarah

    Don’t blame the media. Take note, lahat ng media orgs ay nandun para mag cover to give information to the audience, kapag hindi nila ipinakita yun or pag once na filter yun then wala nang freedom of the press. BLAME THE POLICE, SWAT FOR FOULING UP. WHY? BECAUSE THEY LACK DETERMINATION, WALA SILANG SOLID PLAN PARA MAAYOS AGAD YUN HOSTAGE DRAMA. THEY LACK EQUIPMENT, AS WELL.

  • And I think the media outfits also recognise their discrepancies in the coverage. So its not about the blame game here since MEDIA and THE POLICE are working on that site AND BOTH are responsible of every action that they make in this very critical situation. Remember, one MAJOR MAJOR reason why Rolando Mendoza went amok was seeing his brother arrested by the police THROUGH televised media. ALSO, the element of surprise was lost for the police…therefore, the hostage taker knows what they are doing.

    In other words, media is part of the whole drama. So I disagree that the POLICE ALONE is responsible for the whole mess. ;)

  • Jian(Formerly dell tech support)

    To Sarah…To tell you, media should also be blamed, the first chinese blood spilled on that day was due to the fact that the hostage taker saw on LIVE TV that his brother and son are being handcuffs. In this kind of situation media should have been discreet on what they are showing on the air. Media black out should have been implemented that day, but the MEDIA Vultures keep on coming just to say that they have it first hand…Son of a [email protected]#s. By the way, it is not the LACK of DETERMINATION of the police it is their INCOMPETENCE that decided the faith of those who died that day.

    About PRESS FREEDOM….remember that IF peoples lives is on the line, they should know how to back off…How about the FREEDOM of those who died because of their so called PRESS FREEDOM. Again, there are exceptions to the [email protected]#%n& rules, so don use the kind of words specially if lives are at stake.

    Thank you Bernie for giving me the link. If Sara wants another lesson about hostage crisis please feel free to inform me and I’ll let her know the INTERNATIONAL rules about this kind of situation.


    Mga travel company dapat mag iingat kayo. Dapat nag instruct kayo sa driver nyo. Dapat sinabi nyo wag magpapaakyat ng kahit sino. Kung di pinapasok si Mendoza di yun mangyayari.

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