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Philippines hostage crisis exposes police corruption, ineptitude

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Bullit Marquez/AP

(Read caption) Relatives of the eight Hong Kong tourists who were killed in the Philippines hostage crisis, kneel in respect near the tourist bus during a Buddhist ceremony Tuesday in Manila, Philippines.

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The Congress of the Philippines will conduct an investigation into this week's mishandling of a hostage situation in Manila. A disgruntled policeman hijacked a bus full of tourists on Monday, leading to an 11-hour standoff with SWAT forces that left eight Hong Kong tourists and the hostage-taker dead.

The bloody debacle intensifies scrutiny of the Philippines police, which has been accused of corruption, torture, and ineptitude.

IN PICTURES: Philippines bus hostage crisis

The tragedy unfolded Monday when Rolando Mendoza commandeered a bus full of tourists from Hong Kong, demanding to be reinstated to his job in the police force. Mr. Mendoza was fired in 2008 for extortion. Police attempted negotiation, but the 11-hour standoff ended when Mendoza began shooting and police stormed the bus.

The Philippine Star reports that Congress has ordered a probe into the episode, and some lawmakers have called for the resignation of Manila’s police commander, the chief of the National Capital Region police, and the head of the SWAT force.

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