SAN PEDRO, Laguna, Philippines?Citizen Armando Ducat Jr., who caught media attention for holding hostage a bus-load of pre-school children in 2007 to air his social and political grievances, urged Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, who has taken hostage a bus-load of tourists from Hong Kong, to respect their right to life.
Ducat said he could sympathize with Mendoza for suffering the injustices he too had witnessed as philanthropist providing free day care services to poor kids. ?Kahit may (law) violations sa pamamaraan, dito sa ?tin, manhid at bingi ang hustisya (Though there are violations, justice here is unfeeling and deaf),? Ducat said by phone.
Mendoza, who has received numerous awards for his work as a policeman, was dismissed from the service early January for allegedly manhandling a drug suspect and extorting money from him. He had denied the charges, claiming he was framed.
?But he should respect the rights and the security of his hostages (and) follow whatever would be negotiated with the police,? Ducat said in Filipino.
Ducat, who served time in prison after taking hostage 26 children on a bus in 2007, was at his arts and crafts shop in Rosario, Cavite.
He said he would be willing to act as negotiator if requested, saying he could have possibly met Mendoza in Manila.
Ducat owns and runs the Musmos Day Care at the Parola compound in Manila.
?I just talked to a friend from the police in Manila and asked them if they could spare (Mendoza). The police said he would not be assaulted because they knew him and he is a former colleague,? he said.
Ducat said Mendoza should surrender as soon as agreements were made in the negotiations. "He should be ready to face prison, as I did.?