The Quirino Grandstand hostage drama
I was supposed to write about the Quirino Grandstand hostage drama that took place last Monday. It killed 8 Hongkong nationals and the hostage taker himself. It was a sad day not only for the victims and their kin but also for each one of the us Filipinos here and abroad. It was evil and there are no words to console every one involved. “Condolence” and “Sorry” won’t bring back the lives lost. And the lives scarred by what happened.
I am just praying that the Philippine government have learned their lesson. Firstly, on the case of the hostage taker Capt. Rolando Mendoza. How come a decorated cop, said to be a really good and clean one, turned to a hostage taker? How come his extortion case wasn’t given the attention it needed and now that he’s dead it will be reviewed upon the president’s order?!? We all know good cops are so few and they are the ones neglected by our government! I hope the president will do something about this.
Secondly, on the case of our hostage negotiators. I heard from the news that one of the two who negotiated with Capt. Mendoza even trained in Australia. How come he wasn’t able to do something in those hours he was talking to the hostage taker? They were seen laughing and calm the whole time. And nothing?!? Have you, guys, seen the movie The Negotiator? Are you, guys, watching those cop series in the US like NCIS? Our negotiators should be trained regardless whether hostage taking in our country are far and few between.
Lastly, on our president. Sure, the Quirino Grandstand hostage drama was an isolated incident. But he should know what to do in situations like that. Have you heard the news that HK Chief Executive Donald Tsang was calling him up and the whole time Phil. President Noynoy Aquino couldn’t be reached? And then the flak he got regarding the videos taken wherein he was seen smiling all the time. I noticed that, too! He was even laughing while he was beside the window where the bus driver got out. Considering what happened, he should have worn a very serious facial expression. He said smiling was his way of dealing with the gloom of the situation. I don’t know, I just feel he could have been more mindful of his actions in my opinion. He could have intervened during the hostage taking, calling up Capt. Mendoza or even sending an emissary. He said in his press conference 5 hours after the hostage taking that he will have Capt. Mendoza’s case reviewed. If he could have told that to the man while the hostages were still alive, it could have made a HUGE difference! But no, he was just monitoring the situation during that time. Darn!
Everything could have been handled differently. The hostage drama could have ended without any casualty. But the policemen, the media with their incessant coverage, and the government officials who could have intervened…