The TRUTH about the Quirino Bloodbath

I was shocked to hear about the recent tragic incident in the Philippines. I learned about it in FB by the way and not in news. Silly me. I was busy lately and have not watched the news attentively. Attentively means... the TV was on and I was either blogging or doing chores... so I wasn't paying attention to the news on TV.

Anyway, I just googled about it and found different versions of the incident. I read all the comments and exchange of opinions in FB and I was looking for something more. Well, I just wanted to know the truth and I don't trust the Media on that department. They always sensationalize everything.

Philippine Police storms the bus during hostage crisis - Photo from CNN/Getty Images

As I searched, I found A Letter of Apology from a Filipino Teenager about the Hostage Tragedy and read on. I was astounded by the 15-year old student who wrote the letter. His wisdom and understanding of the impact of the tragedy to our country is far beyond his age and status. That is why I posted that Letter of Apology in my other blog.

And as I was reading all the comments, I was trying to find something that makes sense. I was amazed how people react to the incident. Prejudice seemed to be a cheap commodity. People are too opinionated and can easily pass judgment. So I kept on reading and I can feel my Filipino blood boiling as some commenter wrote things that they have no knowledge of. At any rate, I decided to exit from the page and do blogging.

As I was about to do that, I scrolled down to know if there were still some comments that really make sense... and I found this!


Postcripts To A BloodBath
by Eric Po on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 1:14pm

Mr. Mendoza was already upset even before he saw on television what the policemen did to his brother. The other tourists who remained inside the bus were complaining. Wei Ji Jiang wanted to go to the bathroom. Dao Chi Yu was hungry and the rest were just groaning and whining like they have forgotten that our lives rest in Mr. Mendoza's hands. The hostage taker, as you know him was really nice. He treated us okay and even let the elders and the children leave the bus. He said your policemen treated him unfairly. He was a policeman too and was accused of doing something he had no knowledge of. But your government didn't listen so he used us to get everyone's attention. Things would have never turned for the worst if he didn't see how his family was dragged out of their house and taken into custody. He was watching the news all the time as we huddled around each other behind the bus. He shouted some words in your language then started shooting in the air. A girl about my age started screaming. Mr. Mendoza demanded her to stop but she didn't understand English. God, he had to slash her neck with a knife just to put her to rest. Her boyfriend who tried to hit him was shot in the head. Tension was rising. You can see in his face how scared and confused he was. The bus driver ran away leaving him alone with strangers from a distant land. I can see him walking across the aisle, sometimes pointing his machine gun to one of the tourists. But he tried his best not to hurt us, especially those who really cooperate. I guess its in your nature not to inflict pain on others unless it was necessary. I remember him saying that he will free us before sundown and implored us to forget everything when we return home. But his words don't matter now. The policemen were trying to force their way in, while we all lied down to shield ourselves from bullets. Mister Mendoza blindly shoots at his enemies which I think kept them from rescuing us. I hear sobs under the chairs. Some were even shouting the names of their loved ones even when the air merely eat their words. Kevin Tang tried to escape when the glass door was was shattered, but one shot and he slumped on the floor with blood gushing from his mouth. Heavy rain pitter-pattered on the rooftop. In old Chinese saying, it means an end to a struggle. Finally, somebody was able to open the escape hatch at the back of the bus. Freedom. But I knew Mister Mendoza was still alive. I knew he was just waiting for a chance to strike back at his enemies. So I told those around me not to escape. Let the authorities come for us instead. Then there was gunfire. He was firing at his enemies with a machine gun. Those who were at the escape hatch fled abandoning us once again. It's like a nightmare with no end and to wake up means a certain death. Then somebody from outside the bus threw a canister. It forced out a black smoke that is so painful to the eyes and putrid smelling to the nose. People started screaming. We cannot breathe. Some ran in front of the bus but Mister Mendoza warned them of stray bullets. It was too late. One was hit on the head, the other was hit on the shoulders. Bullets were now flying. Its like the authorities thought we were all dead. Mister Mendoza finally admits his mistake and said sorry to everyone, dead or alive. He then ran towards the front of the bus where he would meet his maker. As he passed by my chair with bullets whistling overhead, I clutched my hand on the velvet curtain and wrapped it around my face. All I could think of was to stay alive - for my child who is waiting for me back in Xinjang.
I know I will survive, I will come home.

-Bang Lu Min Survivor, Quirino Bloodbath

To Mr. Eric Po,

Whoever you are, you definitely shed light to the tragic incident. You are the bearer of truth in my own opinion. As a witness and as a hostage, I could imagine your fear. But I couldn't imagine the trauma that the incident had inflicted on you. The healing process my take years or forever. I know that when you planned your vacation in the Philippines... you planned it in good faith. You chose the Philippines as your destination because you have a certain knowledge of our country. And it was not stated in your itinerary that you will encounter this tragedy. No one plans it. We are all victims directly and indirectly.

It is just sad that lives were sacrificed for a cause that is unimaginable or pointless. But who am I to judge. I just hope that you will find in your heart the faith to see my country as you have seen it before you packed your luggage. I also hope that someday, you will be able to encourage your child to visit the Philippines  without a hint of doubt and fear.

Thank God that you are one of the lucky tourists who survived. This is your second lease on life and I pray that you will be able to live life to the fullest. Let us pray for your countrymen who were not able to see the beauty of my country. Let us pray for their families too that they may be able to accept their fate and learn how to forgive. And help us to pray for our country too. We need it more than anything else. Take care and God Bless you more.



Cee said…
The fiasco kept me nailed in front of the TV. Everyone in the house cringed while watching the hostage drama. All of us were wishful and silently praying that it would end smooth -- as it was earlier that day. So sad, it didn't...

Everyone is really, really sad for what had happened. But I hope they would stop generalizing, us Filipinos.

Mark said…
This Bus-Bloodbath was, sad to say in my opinion a public police execution to hide the REAL Truth ! Thanks to the letter of Bang Lu Min, we all know now a little bit more ! Shocking to read what really happened, because in the TV-Media... HE was the BAD Guy !
Thank You for your Blog, I found it because I was searching for the truth behind the Media Story... where sadly they tried change it ! Now I'm hoping for a real investigation, so the entire background story will become public ! I have been in Phi. and it's one of the best vacations I'll ever had in my life... and I truly hope this Drama, will not affect the so urgently needed tourism to the Philippines, what would hurt Millions !
Anonymous said…
Maybe the greatest post I read all week!!
Anonymous said…
Great read! You should definitely follow up to this topic!

Anonymous said…
I am very pleased you took the time and wrote that post!!!

Fondest regards,