Hostage-taker also faced gang rape charges

Posted at 08/30/2010 10:12 AM | Updated as of 08/30/2010 10:14 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Slain hostage-taker Rolando Mendoza was also accused of participating in the gang rape of a woman in Rizal Park in 1996, the same place where he would later hold hostage 22 Chinese tourists and 3 Filipinos, a police spokesman said Sunday.

Philippine National Police spokesman Senior Supt. Agrimero Cruz said Mendoza joined the police force in 1981 and won awards for his exemplary service in his first decade as a police officer.

This changed in 1996 when then Senior Police Officer 3 Mendoza was assigned to the police station near the Quirino Grandstand, the same place where Mendoza would later hijack a tourist bus in a bid to be reinstated to the service.

Cruz said Mendoza was accused of involvement in a robbery-extortion incident as well as the gangrape of a woman in Rizal Park. He said the woman was arrested for vagrancy in the vicinity of Quirino Grandstand and then separated from his boyfriend.

"The detained lady was separated from her boyfriend (and) repeatedly raped by Rolando Mendoza and his group," he said in an interview.

Cruz said both cases were dismissed after the complainants failed to show up in court.

Twelve years later, Mendoza would again be accused of robbery-extortion by a hotel chef who said he was forced to eat methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) by Mendoza's group.

The Office of the Ombudsman ordered Mendoza's dismissal from the police force in 2009. Last Monday, the dismissed police officer took a busload of Hong Kong tourists hostage and demanded to be reinstated. The 11-hour hostage drama ended with Mendoza and 8 of the tourists shot dead. Report by Gretchen Malalad, ABS-CBN News