Verzosa takes responsibility on hostage-taking

September 6, 2010 11:33 am 

MANILA, September 5 –- Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Jesus Verzosa on Sunday took full responsibility of the much-criticized police assault during the hostage crisis at the Quirino Grandstand last August 23 that ended in the killing of eight Hong Kong tourists and the hostage-taker.

”More than ever, it is imperative to take responsibility especially with regards to what has transpired in the past week,” said Verzosa, apparently referring to the August 23 bloody hostage-taking.

“In this regard, as chief of the national police, I take responsibility and accountability of all PNP units and all police personnel in everything they do and failed to do,” added Verzosa.

This developed as DZBB reported that President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III has approved Versoza's retirement more than three months before he has been slated to bow out of the service as head of the 130,000-strong PNP.

Last August 23, dismissed Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza commandeered a Hong Thai tourist bus with 25 people, 22 of whom were Hong Kong tourists on a sight seeing tour in the country aboard.

Mendoza demanded his reinstatement from the police service by the Office of the Ombudsman for various cases.

Hours of negotiations resulted in the safe release of nine of the hostages, seven of whom were Hong Kong tourists.

However, the negotiations bogged down after SPO2 Gregorio Mendoza, a brother of the hostage-taker, created commotion with police authorities which was viewed by the suspect from a television set inside the bus.

Gunshots rang from the bus which was followed by the escape of the bus driver, Alberto Lubang, who told police authorities that Mendoza had already killed all the hostages inside the bus.

This prompted authorities to order an assault on the bus which resulted in the killing of Mendoza. However, eight hostages also died.

Investigations are now ongoing to establish what really transpired during the incident.

In the meantime, verzosa called on the public to continue supporting the PNP.

“The PNP will now undergo a time of transition. The support and cooperation of every sector most especially the public is needed,” said Verzosa. (PNA) V3/MM

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