Last Monday, a very ghastly crime occurred in one of the most historic locations in Manila. The Quirino grandstand where a lot of Presidents took their oath, where Filipinos commemorate the heroism of Dr. Jose Rizal (Rizal Park), was the site of what every Filipino would consider one of the biggest shame of the country. The hostage crisis took a grueling 11hours only to end in a bloodbath.
As much as I take pride in being a Filipino and no matter how much I try to sympathize and understand the Police force of the city of Manila, I still cannot disregard the fact that their response was reeking of inexperience and ill-preparation. It showed the glaring inability and lack of training of our police force to solve problematic situations such as this. I know that our country lacks the necessary equipment to solve many cases, but we should have compensated with better and more rigorous training.
At first, I was under the impression that the hostages were pretty calm; looking out the window without a sign of terror or pain. That was until the shooting began. It made me think that the hostage taker was calm and was talking to the hostages peacefully, explaining the situation (given the circumstances). Heck! He was waving at the crowd after he released some hostages.
This leads me to another point: he didn't seem hostile at first. He released the children and the elderly early perhaps to lessen the trauma. What triggered his anger, and perhaps made him snap, was the image of his brother being taken into custody after talking to him. I wish they just let the brother slip for the mean time then arrest him after the incident was resolved. if he was compromising the negotiation, then do not allow contact between him and the hostage taker.
There are many things that the police, government, and media could have done better. They should have worked together in solving the issue. I wish the media put aside their drive for increasing their ratings and filtered their video feeds. Those footage could've been shown to the public after the incident was solved. As much as President Aquino stresses that he stayed away to "unintervene" (is there even such a word?), he is the PRESIDENT of the Philippines and this is beyond local issues. This is a matter of foreign relations because tourists were involved. Matters of this magnitude should be of high priority. Giving 300,000 Pesos worth of caskets is unnecessary and trivial. They could have saved lives and face if he didn't insist on his "unintervetion." Don't even let me start on what the police should've done...there is not enough space and time.
It is understandable that the Chinese and Hong Kong nationals are livid but please do not cast stones on the normal citizens of this country. We are also in pain and shamed because of this matter. Do not make this a racial issue because we see those tourists as PEOPLE not just Chinese. We were raised as Catholics almost to a fault. We value life more than anything in this world.
It is a very unfortunate and tragic incident. Do not make it worse that it already is.
Shame on the people who posed in front of the bus as if it were part of a movie set! You have no tact and common sense of decency. You were even wearing your uniforms. I hope you shrivel in shame.