Philippines Bus Hijacker Rolando Mendoza's Brother Says Police are to Blame for Outcome

Philippines Bus Hijacker Rolando Mendoza's Brother Says Police Are to Blame for Outcome
Members of the SWAT teams prepare to assault the tourist bus seized by dismissed police officer Rolando Mendoza (AP Photo/Pat Roque)

MANILA, Philippines (CBS/AP) Gregorio Mendoza, the brother of Philippines bus hijacker Rolando Mendoza was arrested on obstruction of justice allegations and claims police are to blame for the tragic outcome of the hijacking.

PICTURES: Philippines Bus Hijacking

Gregorio, a policeman himself, was taken to a police station after he reportedly approached the bus, armed with a gun, to speak to his 55-year-old brother. Rolando hijacked the bus with an M-16 assault rifle while holding 15 Hong Kong tourists hostage for 12 hours in an attempt to get his job back.

Rolando Mendoza killed eight of the hostages before being killed by police.

Gregorio told a local TV station that Rolando was "upset," and claims that police are to blame for horrific outcome.

"They were the ones who failed in the negotiations, then they blame the outcome on me," Gregorio said.

Philippine police stormed the bus Monday evening when Mendoza started shooting at the 15 Chinese tourists inside, said police Senior Superintendent Nelson Yabut. He said the hostage-taker was killed by a sniper shot to the head after he wounded a police sharpshooter.

Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang criticized the authorities' handling of the siege. Police said they did everything to negotiate and end the 12-hour ordeal peacefully, but Rolando gave them no choice.

The day-long crisis began Monday morning, when Ronaldo, armed with an M-16 rifle, stopped the bus that initially had 25 people on board on a road in one of Manila's biggest parks.

The gunman released nine hostages during the afternoon - leaving 15 inside - and demanded his job back to free the rest. Despite hopes that negotiations might bring the standoff to a peaceful conclusion, tensions escalated as night closed in. Police said they stormed the bus after they saw Mendoza open fire on hostages. Moments before the commandos moved in, the Filipino driver fled. Police officer Roderick Mariano cited him as saying Mendoza had opened fire at the tourists.

According to newspaper reports from 2008, Mendoza was among five officers who had been charged with robbery, extortion and grave threats after a Manila hotel chef filed a complaint alleging the policemen falsely accused him of using drugs to extort money.


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