It’s in the news since yesterday. There was a tragic and sad event for the Philippines. A retired police man, wanted to be put back in service, decided to take hostage a Hong Thai Travel bus, full of Hong Kong tourist.
It was said that the incident happened at around 10 am, near the Quirino Grandstand. Based on initial reports, the hostage taker released 9 people, in exchange for his demands. There were 15 people left in the bus, and the hostage taker gave a deadline of 3 pm to grant his demands. The stand off lasted until the evening. The police operations were hampered by rain, and low visibility, as the hostage taker demanded the hostages to move the curtains, so that police would not have a clear view on the insides of the bus.
In the evening, there were shots fired in and out of the bus. The local law enforcements, decided to use tear gas, flash grenades, and sledge hammer, to be able to get into the bus. During this commotion, the driver of the bus was able to slip out of the bus, and reported that the hostage taker has open fired into the hostages.
The tragedy ended, when a sniper was able to shot and kill the retired police officer. Based on earlier reports, there were 6 survivors, and 9 killed, but of the 6 survivors, 1 succumbed to injuries from gun shot wounds.
As I am writing this, Hong Kong has issued a black alert on travel to the Philippines. Meaning avoid all travel to the Philippines.
We do hope that this incident would not have a lasting affect on the Philippines. As a tragedy of this scale and magnitude, severely damages the reputation of the Philippines, from investors, and tourist. We direly need investments, and tourism, as it is one of the country’s life blood, besides the money being remitted by OFW’s.