Our daily world is filled with pictures of terrorists blowing themselves up on the assumption their death will somehow, some way change the world and lead to the triumph of whatever they believe is the truth. Yesterday, on a sunny day in Manila, a group of tourists from Hong Kong were enjoying their trip to the Philippines, snapping pictures, and chatting. Few even noticed the Filipino policeman who hitched a ride into the capital. However, suddenly, he turned on them, pointed his rifle and informed the group they were his hostages. Fairly quickly, police arrived on the scene to be greeted by the former policeman shouting that his dismissal from the force was a terrible error. He placed paper on the window which said, “big mistake, to correct a wrong decision.” His brother, Gregorio a policeman, arrived on the scene in an attempt to calm down Rolando Mendoza, but he was so filled with anger at the police for dismissing his brother they had to take him away.
This entire scene was broadcast live on TV so family and relatives in Hong Kong could see every bit of the action. There appeared to be some confusion as the police did a terrible job of having a negotiator work with the distraught man. There was even an attempt to board the bus that resulted in shooting a member of the police. Finally, Rolando went wild, killed eight tourists and was shot in the head.
Hong Kong authorities are furious at the bungled operation that played out on TV. One can only wonder if it is at all possible in the modern world to prevent such scenes from being viewed by the world.