World News

Day-care center owner surrenders, releases child hostages in Philippine capital

Posted: 03/28/07 at 11:03 am EDT

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A day-care center owner armed with grenades and guns held more than 30 youngsters and teachers hostage on a bus Wednesday, then freed them after a 10-hour standoff that he used to denounce corruption and demand better lives for impoverished children.

Clutching dolls, toys and backpacks, the children began filing off the bus shortly after 7 p.m., as Jun Ducat had promised in a rambling message delivered via a loudspeaker hours earlier.

Ducat, a 56-year-old civil engineer who has staged other attention-grabbing stunts in the past, then put the pin back in a grenade, handed it to a provincial governor, Luis "Chavit" Singson, and surrendered as Singson held his arm.

Jubilant parents were quickly reunited with their children while Ducat was led to a waiting police car and driven away.

"I accept that I should be jailed because what I did was against the law," Ducat said in an interview with The Associated Press shortly before the standoff ended.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Latest Video