Archive for Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hostage crisis ends with children unharmed

March 29, 2007


— Dozens of children were taken hostage on a bus Wednesday by a day-care center owner armed with grenades and guns, but the youngsters took the ordeal in stride, eating pizza, smiling and waving from the windows throughout the day.

The crisis ended after 10 hours when 56-year-old civil engineer Jun Ducat, who staged the incident to denounce corruption and demand better lives for impoverished children, released the children, put the pin back in a grenade and surrendered to police.

Jubilant parents were quickly reunited with their children as they filed off the bus clutching dolls, toys and backpacks. Ducat was led to a waiting police car and driven away.

Manila police district chief Danilo Abarzosa said Ducat would be charged with 32 counts of illegal detention and abduction - each count is punishable by up to 12 years in prison - along with illegal possession of explosives and firearms.

The excited students thought they were going on a field trip when they boarded the bus early Wednesday. Instead, Ducat had the driver take them to City Hall, where a handwritten sheet of paper was taped to the windshield that said he was holding 32 children and two teachers and was armed with two grenades, an assault rifle and a .45-caliber pistol.


Confrontation 10 years, 12 months ago

"staged the incident to denounce corruption and demand better lives for impoverished children"

A better life for these children must include being held on a bus with dangerous weapons.

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