Manila Hostage Crisis Investigated

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A three-day investigation into last month's hostage-taking crisis in Manila revealed serious organizational flaws. Police are begin blamed for a botched assault.

An investigation into last month's deadly hostage crisis in Manila has revealed serious flaws in the police response.

Two weeks after eight Hong Kong tourists were killed during a botched rescue attempt, Orlando Yerbb testified to an inter-agency panel regarding police preparedness and miscommunication during the siege.

He was the chief negotiator on the scene that day.

[Lieutenatn Colonel Orlando Yerba, Lead Negociator]:Filipino)
"Without me knowing that it was indeed ordered, or without me hearing that the order was given, I just saw the SWAT running towards the bus. So I knew there was the order for an assault."

The panel has discovered that no psychologist was present to help assess the hostage-taker, Rolando Mendoza, who was a disgruntled ex police officer recently fired from service.

Also testifying was Mendoza's brother, Gregorio Mendoza, who was found to have a gun when approaching the bus where the hostages were being held.

Gregorio Mendoza claimed he had been trying to convince his brother to free the hostages, and refutes accusations that he might have helped trigger his brother to start shooting at the hostages.

[Gregorio Mendoza, Hostage-Taker's Brother]: (Filipino)
"These impressions, they are just saying these things to nail me down and make me answer for the crime that my brother did."

The hearings lasted three days and uncovered operational lapses and poor judgment calls made by civilian crisis managers and police commanders.

The standoff in late August ended after 11 hours when the gunman was finally shot and killed by police.

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