MANILA -- The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines sent a working group to the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, where a former police official held hostage more than 20 passengers, mostly Hong Kong tourists.

In a phone interview, Chinese Embassy in Manila spokesman Ethan Sun said they have already sent a four-man working group in lieu of Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao. Liu is currently out of the country.

“We have sent a working group on the ground that will decide and cooperate with the Philippine police. They are trying to do the best that they can to release all hostages safely,” said Sun.

Sun added that the hostage situation will have “to be dealt with in an appropriate and timely manner”.

Shortly before noon Monday, dismissed Police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza hijacked a tourist bus that is carrying about 21 Chinese nationals, as well as one tour guide, one bus driver and two cameramen, who are all Filipinos. (AMN/Sunnex)