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Senate panel wants hostage-taker's phone record

August 27, 2010 12:36am
Senators investigating Monday's bloody hostage-taking incident in Manila want to know who the unidentified person Rolando Mendoza, the hostage-taker, was talking to over the phone before he started firing shots.

During Thursday’s hearing by the Senate committee on public order, Manila police operatives said Mendoza, a dismissed policeman, was reading the letter sent to him by the Office of the Ombudsman to a person he was talking to over the phone before the violence erupted.

The letter was the Ombudsman’s response to Mendoza’s demand that his robbery-extortion case, which was the reason for his dismissal from police service, be reviewed.

“Maybe we will try to subpoena the records of the telephone conversation," said committee chairman Sen. Gringo Honasan.

Mendoza’s phone is currently in the hands of Manila Police District (MPD) head Chief Superintendent Rodolfo Magtibay, who has since taken a leave of absence to give way for an impartial probe on the carnage.

Honasan said contents of the slain hostage-taker’s final conversation would give “additional bits and pieces that will warrant a more [sound] conclusion."

He said they are also planning to invite more resource persons into the next yet-to-be-scheduled hearing. “We will draw up a list of resource persons and expand it to [include] those who we were not able to invite."

Among those being considered to be invited for next time’s hearing are MPD’s Superintendent Orlando Yebra, who served as chief negotiator in Monday’s hostage, as well members of the media.

Asked if Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who served as chairman of the crisis management committee, would likewise be invited in subsequent hearings, Honasan said: “Probably."

Magtibay, during the hearing, claimed it was Lim who ordered him to arrest Mendoza's brother, SPO2 Gregorio Mendoza, which supposedly triggered the hostage-taker’s anger. - KBK, GMANews.TV
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