A police official has admitted possibility of tourists being hit by “stray” bullets fired by police on the assault team.
The police assault team have been ordered to surrender their weapons for ballistic testing as part of common procedures. The weapons will be tested at the PNP Crime lab in Camp Crame.
Director Leocadio Santiago, National Capital Region Police Office chief then went on to say that they did not expect the hostage drama to end in a violent twist which is why they allowed live media coverage of the crisis as they expected a peaceful resolution. He followed on to say they were caught off guard by Mendoza’s brothers reaction to the crisis when summoned to assist the police with the situation.Santiago said that instead of pacifying his brother, SPO2 Mendoza “incited” the hostage-taker not to surrender and agitated him further by calling out to the media while he was being arrested by the police. The same scenes were seen inside the bus due to the gunman watching his brother on a television installed in the vehicle. At this point the gunman opened fire on a hostage that was earlier handcuffed near to the front of the vehicle.
The PNP are going to begin a probe into the “organisation” on Wednesday. Although its no doubt going to be fast tracked with not only the Philippines government wanting answers but with Hong Kong wanting to know why things went so badly wrong. The PNP will be looking at where to improve the handling of hostage situations as well as the liabilities and possible lapses in police officers within this operation. All police officers involved in the hostage taking including Santiago and the MPD chief will full under the investigation.
At the same time Santiago admitted there were lapses in police handling of the crowd at Rizal park and mistakes committed by the assault team. Including poor planning that resulted in a bundled attempt to enter the bus at the front for the assault team to then receive text messages saying the bus had an emergency rear exit. Lack of equipment and firearms were also mentioned in the statement.