Monday, August 23, 2010

Who is Rolando Mendoza?

On August 23, 2010, Rolando Mendoza hijacked a tourist bus parked near Manila’s Rizal Park. Despite winning an award as Jaycees International’s Ten Outstanding Policemen of the Philippines (TOPP) in 1986, the police officer who held hostage a busload of Chinese tourists from Hong Kong in Manila was dismissed from the service earlier this year for extortion and for forcing a chef to swallow “shabu.”

According to records in Camp Crame, Senior Inspector Rolando Del Rosario Mendoza was dismissed by Office of the Ombudsman early in January together with four other policemen. They were stripped of their retirement benefits. Mendoza was also disqualified from holding any position in the government service.
Along with Mendoza, also dismissed were Police Officer 3 Wilson Matic Gavino, Inspector Nelson Ubano Lagasca, Senior Police Officer 1 Nestor Reyes David and Police Officer 2 Roderick Salva LopeƱa.

The Ombudsman found Mendoza and the others guilty of grave misconduct for allegedly extorting P20,000 from Christian Kalaw, a chef of the Mandarin Hotel. According to records of the case, Mendoza and the other policemen accosted Kalaw for illegal parking, driving without license and use of illegal drugs two years ago in Manila.

On April 9, 2008, Kalaw parked his car along Vito Cruz and was accosted by the policemen. They accused Kalaw of being a drug user and tried to extort P3,000 from him. The records also said Kalaw was forced by the policemen to swallow a sachet full of shabu while they were trying to extort P20,000 from the chef at the headquarters of the Mobile Patrol Unit of the Manila Police District.

Administrative charges against Mendoza were filed on April 25, 2008, after which he was relieved as chief of the Mobile Patrol Unit.

But on October 17, 2008, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Internal Affairs Service (IAS) recommended the dismissal of the case after Kalaw failed to attend the dismissal proceedings.

In August of the same year, the Manila Prosecutors Office Eighth Division also dismissed the case after Kalaw failed to appear during the preliminary proceedings of the case.

In 1986, the Jaycees International awarded Mendoza its Ten Outstanding Policemen of the Philippines (TOPP) award.

According to his personal data sheet, he has garnered 17 awards and commendations from the PNP, including multiple citations of the Medalya ng Papuri (PNP Medal of Commendation), the PNP Badge of Honor, the Medalya ng Kasanayan (PNP Efficiency Medal), Medalya ng Kagalingan (PNP Merit Medal) and the Medalya ng Paglilingkod (PNP Service Medal), and a Letter of Commendation.

Mendoza lists his address inside the Camp Ricardo Papa police camp in Bicutan, Taguig.

He was born on January 10, 1955 in Naic, Cavite. He has two sons and a daughter with wife Aurora, who are now based in Banadero, Tanauan, Batangas. He was supposed to retire next year. One of his sons, Bismarck, is deputy chief of the Bangued police station in Abra with a rank of inspector. He was reported to have taken a trip to Manila when he heard of the hostage-taking.

Mendoza graduated from the Philippine College of Criminology with a BS degree in Criminology.
He entered the PNP in April 1981 as a patrolman through the defunct Integrated National Police (INP). In January 1991, he was absorbed into the PNP with the rank of Senior Police Officer 3 with the Western Police District (WPD), now known as the Manila Police District. He was promoted to Inspector in May 2002 and as a Senior Inspector in August 2005.

In June 2008 a few months after Kalaw filed charges against him, Mendoza was shipped out to the provincial police office of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). But this reassignment never materialized as he served a 90-day suspension.


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