SEVEN preschool students in Tondo, Manila, were held hostage Monday by a 33-year-old carpenter who was laid off from work by a Chinese school.
Police officials said the Saint Stephen’s High School on Masangkay Street, Tondo, was thrown into panic when the suspect Moises Radan took hostage seven nursery pupils inside the school at about 8:27 a.m.
Chief Supt. Pedro Bulaong, Western Police District (WPD) director, said Radan, of B-18 L-5, Dasmariñas Golden City, Salawag, Dasmariñas, Cavite, became distraught when the school administration fired him Friday last week.
Radan was one of the personnel assigned at the school’s maintenance department.
Bulaong added that Radan went to the school early Monday morning to ask the school management why he was laid off.
When no school official would talk him, Radan grabbed the service shotgun from Joey Jamilla, the school security guard at the high school department.
The suspect then dashed toward the elementary department and disarmed another security guard, Henry Bustamante, of his .38-caliber revolver.
Radan headed inside the nursery room and held hostage seven pupils, ages 4 to 5 years old.
Operatives of the WPD Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) team rushed to the school when school officials called up the police for assistance.
Radan fired three shots in the air to keep the responding policemen at bay while he kept children inside the toilet.
Bulaong, together with Father Paul Tan Wan Co, the school priest, negotiated with Radan for the safe release of the innocent pupils.
After several minutes, Radan agreed with the negotiator’s demand and turned himself in to the Swat members.
Police investigators said no one was hurt during the one-hour hostage drama.
At the WPD headquarters, Radan claimed he committed the crime because he was disappointed when the school fired him from his job.
“All I wanted was an explanation from the administration on why they fired me, but they refused to talk to me,” Radan said in Tagalog.
Meanwhile, Aurelia, the wife of the suspect, appeared at the police station and said she was the one who asked the school management to relieve his husband because of his frequent womanizing.
“I begged his supervisor to fire him [Radan] so that he could no longer cheat on me. If my husband has money, he always spent it all to his women,” Aurelia, who has three child with Radan, said.
By Jonathan Vicente