School children and teachers taken hostage in Philippines

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The head of a day care centre in Manila, Philippines, has boarded a bus containing 32 children and 2 teachers from the centre and is holding them hostage, demanding better education rights and better housing for them.

Jun Ducat and one other armed individual took the party hostage while they were going out on a trip with the day care centre.

The bus has been surrounded by armed Filipino police, and through negotiation, the hostage takers agreed to release all the remaining children on the bus at 11:00am BST (10:00am GMT), but the deadline for this has now passed with no sign of the remaining children being released as per the agreement.

One child has been released from the bus and taken away by police and emergency medical services suffering from a high fever.

Mr Ducat said that he had no intention of harming the people aboard the bus in any way, and indeed, the siege has ended with his surrender.

"I accept that I should be jailed because what I did was against the law," Ducat said in an interview with Associated Press. No child was reported physically injured, but they are undergoing medical checkups and psychological debriefings.