Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim on Friday admitted that some hours prior to the shooting rampage of dismissed police officer Rolando Mendoza, his plan as head of the local crisis management committee was to tire out the hostage-taker.
Speaking before the Incident Investigation and Review Committee probing the August 23 hostage tragedy, Lim said that at about 6:45 p.m. that day, he made such specific instruction on Manila Police District head Chief Superintendent Rodolfo Magtibay, who is currently on leave from his post.
"Mga 6:45 p.m. ay nagpaalam na ako kay General Magtibay. Sabi ko sa kanya, 'O, general, magkaka-tagalan ito. We have to play a waiting game, tingnan natin baka ito (Mendoza) mapuyat, mapagod, baka mag-abot ng kinaumagahan,'" Lim said.
(At around 6:45 p.m., I told General Magtibay I was leaving. I told him, ‘General, this might take some time. We have to play a waiting game, we’ll see, this guy might just lose sleep and tire out, it might take until tomorrow morning.)
"Iyon ang aming pinag-usapan (ni Magtibay), na pagurin siya (Mendoza) (That’s what Magtibay and I agreed on, to tire Mendoza out)," Lim added.
It was at that point when Lim left the command post at the Quirino Grandstand and went to the nearby Emerald Restaurant to set up an extension of the command post.
When Lim made the admission on Friday, Justice Sec. Leila de Lima questioned him: "So that was your strategy, to tire him out?"
Lim replied, "That's it, your honor."
With Lim taking a late lunch at Emerald, while the negotiation was fast unraveling, what followed was the shooting spree of Mendoza on the Hong Kong tourists inside the Hong Thai Travel tourist bus. The incident resulted in the deaths of eight hostages.—Sophia