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I heard blood dripping, says hijack survivor

Feb 22, 2011

A survivor shot by the gunman in the Manila bus tragedy told an inquest that he heard blood dripping and victims breathing during a period of silence following the shooting rampage.

Chan Kwok-chu, 47, was the second-to-last survivor to testify on the sixth day of the inquest into the deaths of eight Hongkongers held hostage by sacked police officer Rolando Mendoza on August 23. Yik Siu-ling, 34, will be the last to give evidence today.

Just before the shooting started at around 7.20pm, Mendoza made a lengthy phone call and was getting very angry, Chan said. The gunman was holding the phone with his left hand while holding the rifle with his right hand. “[He] threw down the phone and started shooting.”

The phone call was an interview with journalists Erwin Tulfo and Michael Rogas, the court heard. Mendoza was also watching a television on the bus, showing his brother being arrested by police.

Mendoza first shot in the direction of tour guide Masa Tse Ting-chunn, 31, who was standing on the steps at the door, Chan said. He then shot in the direction of Yik, who was sitting in the second row.

Fu Cheuk-yan, 39, Leung Kam-wing, 58, and Chan then rushed from their seats to try to overcome Mendoza. “Mr Fu was at the front … he was very close to the gunman. He lifted up his hands and pushed the gunman’s rifle upwards.”

The gunman took two steps back and fired at Fu twice, Chan said. He then fired at Leung once. “I knew he would shoot me so I retreated back [to my seat],” he said.

Mendoza was shooting left and right as he walked down the aisle, Chan said. “It was basically one gunshot every second.”

Tour members had plotted to subdue Mendoza, Chan said. But their plan was not executed because they had not thought the situation was dangerous earlier in the day, and the gunman became more guarded as the situation worsened.

Chan only witnessed the shootings of Fu and Leung. As for the rest of the hostages, he said: “[The gunman] shot at places where people were sitting … there were people lying down after he opened fire.

“People were screaming before [being shot]. But as the shooting continued, it became quiet,” he said, adding that hostages did not even scream when they were shot.

Chan held up his bag with both hands when Mendoza was in front of him. When he was shot, blood from his hands splashed onto his face.

Chan fell back into his seat. “[The gunman] probably thought I was dead so he didn’t shoot me again …” he said. After he was shot, the bus was quiet and Chan could hear blood dripping and survivors breathing.

He rolled down from his seat onto the ground, with his body on top of his arms to reduce blood loss and to stay safe. Meanwhile, he heard bullets from outside hitting a piece of metal near his head.

Chan then heard two more gun shots. Survivor Lee Ying-chuen, 36, told the court earlier that they were aimed at Jessie Leung Song-yi, 14.

The emergency exit was briefly opened and Chan could feel wind blowing in. The gunman fired a series of shots towards the exit, and Chan heard bullets hitting a shield that was held up by someone who had stepped onto the bus. The latter screamed: “wow! wow!” and backed out of the bus.

Not long after, Chan heard someone say “moving” in a low voice. He did not know if the gunman was still alive, but his legs had become numb and he was fainting due to the loss of blood. “I knew that if I didn’t get up, I wouldn’t be able to,” he said.

Chan jumped off the bus and was later taken away by ambulance.

Meanwhile, Philippine vice-consul Val Simon Roque did not appear yesterday at the inquest despite being asked to return to update the coroner on the number of Filipino witnesses to testify. So far, not a single one has shown up.

Roque was asked at the pre-inquest hearing two months ago to pass on summonses to 116 Filipino witnesses. He was called to the court last Tuesday and was asked to return yesterday to provide an update.

But Roque expressed surprise at Coroner Michael Chan Pik-kiu’s request, saying he was there to observe. He said he would consult authorities in Manila, but did not show up.

The inquest continues today.


Maggie Ng and Simpson Cheung

Residents or Manila travel out of town to head north to Pampanga to relax, unwind and spend a few nights in the new hotel rooms situated right on the lake of Clearwater Resort in Clark Airbase. Many visitors and tourists enjoy the feeling of waking up by the lake. The sunrise produces a spectacular sight with the sunlight reflection on the calm surface of the three-hectare fresh water lake of this famous resort in Clark.

The safest getaway destination vacation spot near Manila convenient safe and accessible is Clearwater Beach Resort in Clark Pampanga, great for family bonding, hang out to unwind and relax near lake and trees, camping too.

When in Clark, make plans to relax and enjoy an evening at The London Pub located in Mimosa Leisure Estate of Clark Freeport Zone. This is where all the local executives, local and foreign tourists gather after a full day of fun or work.

This web site contains articles and information that will be helpful to visitors, residents and tourists traveling out of town from Manila on a short getaway to Subic, Angeles City, Pampanga and Clark Philippines. There are several web sites that contain information that might also be pertinent to what is happening in North Luzon.

For assistance with organizing and planning weddings and garden receptions, log on to

For assistance with lodgings, accommodations, hotels and resorts near Manila in Subic, Pampanga, Angels City and Clark Philippines log on to

While in Clark, one might as well add to the itinerary a visit to the famous Clark Wine Center, the largest wine shop in Philippines which offers over 2000 selections of fine vintage wine from all wine regions, vintages spanning over 50 years covering all price ranges.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 Manila Bus Hostage Incident 2010




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