Are We sTupid? Who is to blame?

Philippines
August 23, 2010 8:49am CST
Perhaps, most of you are aware of the hostage taking that happened today. It was all over the news around the world. International can't understand why events were being broadcast. The hostage taker was watching it on the bus' tv. Saw everything especially the scene when the policemen forcefully took his brother. That was prompted him to fire his gun inside the bus... Yeah, who is to blame? Are we really stupid?
4 people like this
18 responses
@basqui (3890)
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
The cops wasn't able to control the crowd and also the mediamen. They should have thought what that has made to the outcome of the hostage-taking situation. thumbs down for the cops who mishandled the hostage drama.
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
I agree with you, Basqui. It is indeed a thumbs down for the the way they mishandled this. And I am so pissed with the crowd, too. What were those people thinking? They were watching a shooting of some movie stars? And, our president, He was seen a few mile away from the back of the bus, with body guards holding an umbrella for him. He was there and yet he did not do anything! Why? I don't understand why are we like this?
1 person likes this
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
I agree, thumbs down to the police but for our president, I believe it is out of his control... what do you expect? Our president is not Rambo and he is not an action star. In my thought, the reason why he is with his body guards is not because he asked them to be with him, it is the job of these body guards to make sure he is safe... so no matter how he'll drive them away, they will always be there because he is the president of our country... Imagine what will be the negative effect to our image if our own president is hurt during the hostage drama. Our tourism will go down because of the idea that if Philippines cannot secure its president, how much more its tourists.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
No, question about the guards guarding the President. That is their duty all right. What I don't understand is why he didn't make a move to resolve the situation. There were other politicians there who were rying to negotiate.like singson and revilla. They exert efforts but where is the President? He doesn't need to take the bullets nor do stunts to deal with the situation. But at least, he could have shown himself that he is doing something. And, it is his duty to protect this country and its visitors from these kind of people, but he was there staring as if it is a normal scenarion to be just stared upon....
1 person likes this
@JudithP (295)
• Canada
23 Aug 10
Because of today's technology anyone could have caught that story. It could have been someone passing by with a cell phone. It could have been someone with a laptop. It could have been anyone. News stations now offer rewards for video and pictures pertaining to news stories that go viral. A lot of time it hits You Tube before it even gets to the new station. People don't think about the danger that others could be in, they just see it as their chance to make a few extra bucks.
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
Yes, they are so selfish not thinking of the welfare of those people inside that bus. If the police had warned the media not to sensationalize it, the firing could have been avoided. He was seem cool earlier then, all of sudden he did that. See how negligence and lack of consideration can tragically harm a person's life? I agree with you ,Judith, it is more about the bucks....
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
Actually, people have the right to be informed. The forceful taking of the hostage taker's brother may have triggered the 5-6 gunshots, however, if it was not taken, there might be certain human rights which might be violated. Do you think policemen will be very patient in taking Gregorio Mendoza(the brother)? Of course not, policemen could have hit him to take him. In addition, regarding the coverage of media, I believe it is the reporter's effort to inform the public... it is our right and I believe you also want to see it... Besides, it is wrong to say it is more about the bucks... we also need to give credits to the reporters because they are risking their lives in order to give us the information we want to hear.
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
@Kyss: I stand corrected... It was kinf of offensive saying it is all for the bucks. I must apologize... Yes, one way or another. you have a point there. But, still we can be informed later once everything has been under control. The reporters can get footages but without airing it live. That could be done later, isn't it? With that, I get to think what is important, to inform or to protect?
@lampar (7597)
• United States
24 Aug 10
First rule of hostage taking negotiation is "not to provoke the hostage taker, but alleviate his anger. " It is the basic rule every hostage negotiator learn in the hostage taking crisis class for security personnel. Superficially, it is no question the lack of leadership and training in the negotiator and crisis response team contributed to this tragic ending. Every experienced and concerned police negotiator known that he should go along with the hostage taker demand and play along with him until all the hostages are free and in a safe hand. This particular situation is mishandled and the turn of event changed drastically after he found out his brother was detained by police, at the beginning of the negotiation, he agreed to release few hostages in return for food and drink. It is a good sign that hostage taker is still subject to reasoning and want to talk but then all hell broke loose when his brother is unfairly treated in return for his cooperation with the negotiator, that is somethings terribly wrong somewhere along the negotiation, there may have several persons aside from negotiator trying to play leader and gave orders to have his brother arrested with intention to do something provocative to hostage taker, instead of only one person in charged, that is why the higher authority need to find out, someone higher up may want to see this crisis go bad to damage Philippine reputation internationally for personal gain. .
• Singapore
25 Aug 10
lampar, I just like to add that the police should not be called to handle this crisis situation in the very first place. The hijacker is a policeman (former) and a long standing prolific one, so I am sure there's bound to have some soft sentiments in the camp with regards to his situation. This comradeship and cadre can become a conflict of interest and will affect the ultimate decision to take him down by force. It is very evident since the start that the police were anticipating a non violent conclusion without any tinge that the situation can go south. Negligent, prejudice, over-confident or ignorant from all quarters and I cannot imagine if there will be any personal gain at all. Innocent lives was the price and there's some gain? It is purely bad judgment and complacency from all quarters. Ref: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11069616
1 person likes this
@lampar (7597)
• United States
25 Aug 10
Skysuccess; Every experienced negotiator that concerned about safety of hostages will not come out with provocative act to agitate the hostage taker, in the first few hours of the negotiation, every thing seem going well, this ex-police inspector had released few hostages, doesn't seem to be in total disarrayed and agreed to continue talking with negotiator to forward his demands, but after seeing his brother was detained by police and the agreed condition is violated, he quickly was agitated by the unfairness and heavy handedness used on his own brother by police again, just like himself gotten fired from his life long career only a year from retirement for doing nothing wrong as he claimed, he just turn angry immediately and started shooting once the trust between him and the negotiator is broke down by whoever ordered the arrest of his brothers. It is one of the worst provocative act police done to further alienate the hostage taker. Whoever gave the order to arrest his brothers had no concern whatever about those Hong Kong tourist hostages' life at all, it is the only conclusion clearly spell out in this tragic event.
• Singapore
26 Aug 10
lampar, If I may add, any experience negotiator would know that there is always an expectancy that the situation can go south instead of a peaceful settlement. The hijacker is armed to the teeth, there are hostages and so MANY opportunities to disarm and neutralize the situation without the need to ask the hijacker's brother down to the scene. It is really a deadlock situation as far as the negotiation terms are concern. The authorities know it perfectly that there will not be any conclusion and if the hijacker does not see his terms met, then the situation will just escalate period. It is take down with any and every opportunity - as such, why the hesitation and no anticipation? I do not know what to say for the arrest of the hijacker's brother but it had been disclosed that he is now being investigated for being involved in this hijacking plot. Also, the driver of the coach bus is being arrested for the same suspicion too.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
almost everything i guess. THe Media, who are so so happy to see this situation, grabbing it and then allowing themselves to jeoperdize the cops situation while the hostage taker positioned himself into determining where to strike back. then, the cops, they should have told the guy that his brother is just being escorted. but the hostage taker watch it on tv. and that happened. probably they're way of handling the situation was awful. did you see how the cop let go of the sledge hammer.
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
You're right! The media, the hostage taker, the policemen, the government, the people around... everyone take part on the failure of this incident. Everything happened in a domino effect... the hostage taker won't do this if he did not fin injustice, the policemen could have a better strategy if the government bought better gadgets like heat or heart beat sensor; the media won't try to cover everything if not because of the people's will to see everything... By the way, it was funny how the cop let of the sledge hammer... it shows that they lack training.
@SimpleBB (1332)
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
Lack of strategy and coordination to each department actually. Hostage takings not only happened this time. Still they're are not prepared, very inorganized. Does it always surprised them in every occurence of such situation? What do we think will happen to us? Well, I can't just resist to express my disappoinments.
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
This has happened number of times in this country but still we haven't learned our lessons yet. You are right, SimpleBB, lack of proper coordination and strategy. If this has happened the first time, ok, we can fairly understand that. But, for the nth times... Jesus!
@ybong007 (6658)
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
There could be lapses but if there's anyone to blame it was the hostage taker himself. he was the only one to blame why he ended up like that. It was just a pity that innocent lives are lost due to his stupidity. The hostage taker was already deranged the moment he hostage the bus. Isko Moreno on the other hand blamed his brother because if it was for him, negotiation could have push through smoothly. The Police did what they could but it just so happen that the hostage taker is a policeman himself and have a background on this type of situation. The media did what was expected of them. had they known that the hostage taker was watching everything on TV, i'm sure they could have stopped covering the situation.
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
You have a point there, Ybong. I am not in the position to say who is and who isn't to be blame by the incident because I did not see the whole coverage. But, of course, someone got to make the first move to create an incident like this. Sadly for Mendoza, it was him who became the fall guy here...However, this deranged man shouldn't be treated the way he was treated as well as his hostages. He was desperate, all right, but it doesn't mean that police department should treated it with exasperation. They could have looked at all angles considering that there were innocent lives involved. Isn't it that the mere fact that Mendoza was an ex officer should give them extra effort to be really careful in handling the situation because one wrong move and it will fuel his anger? Heck, that happened... For the media, they could have given updates but not aired everything yet. Sometimes, media doesn't help at all instead they are making things worse. Well, a scoop is a scoop and this incident is a very big one! Who wouldn't want to get the best angle and the best coverage of it?
@skysuccess (8881)
• Singapore
23 Aug 10
eurekafemme, I do not think you can blame the television stations for the live broadcast especially when the hostages are foreign tourists with children. The families of these hostages will be concern and have the right to know. I am not sure if the broadcasts would of the hijacker's brother being arrested could be accessed by the hijacker through the coach's television. But, I am sure that is not the reason for him to shoot the hostages. Besides, I am sure the police tactical team would have been able to jam all kinds of broadcast signals to the coach and just strictly be negotiating for the safe release of the hostages. However, I am surprised that the tactical teams took so long to decide on the use of force to neutralize the situation. Philippines is known to have a firm stance on negotiating with terrorists foreign or domestic, so I am really shocked that it took them till the shootout to breach the bus. Had the authorities taken the initiative, I am sure the shootout or passenger fatalities would be reduced to a minimal. It is just sad to see so many victims loosing their lives here. I am pointing the finger at your government, the chief of staff, the officer in charge for the hijack situation and the tactical team captain here. Their hesitation and indecisiveness is actually costly in this incident.
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
Unfortunately, Sky, we don't have that kind of technology yet that would jam the signal transmission to the bus' tv. I am pretty sure, he saw everything as everybody around the world did. Yes, we have a very strong stance against terrorism. Only this time, the hostage taker was seemed calm earlier and they, the police department, said that they can very handle the situation and that it was more easy to dealt with compared to other hostage taking situation that they encountered. They were so confident when they said that....Thus, they treated the situation as not as dreadful as it had come out... Moreover, sad to admit that our policemen are not really equipped or fully trained to handle this kind of situation, thus, the lapses. I can't blame you if you see fault in those people. I, sometimes. couldn't help thinking that they did not do their best to resolve the incident peacefully...
• Singapore
25 Aug 10
eurekafemme, Just to let you know, I am not alone with what I have posted - I do not how you are so certain that your country does not have frequency jammers when it was being used before in your country. All hijack and hostage taking situations always starts on a positive note and believe me you can even ask the sky from the hijackers. But, as time goes by, hijackers will eventually realize that their demands will never be fulfilled and due to the elapsed time a person's morale and mental will fade. Desperation will set in and catastrophe is just around the corner. That is why, tactical teams are being taught to expect the worst and as such find the best opportunity to neutralize the threat without hostage casualty. Look at the following report from BBC and you will understand and reiterate what I had been talking about. Ref: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11069616
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
I was disgusted because of CNN's statement which goes like, "Philippines, worst country to go to." Can't believe that a promising foreign news will broadcast it on air. :@ We all have the right to be respected. I'm just disappointed that even in Twitter, the Philippines is on spotlight in a NEGATIVE WAY. It's really a "SHAME" for all of us, admit it. NO ONE SHOULD BE BLAMED. This really happens in life. REMEMBER 9/11 in New York?
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
even during the Election period last year. they didn't even interview candidates or ordinary people. they just went straight ahead to the scene of massacre in Maguindanao. after that, they went airing the May 10 elections. like all the other media, they also like to grasp the situation in reporting the bad news.
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
CNN has been known to become a bias network, just a hearsay. But yes, as a Filipino, despite of that dreadful event, I'd also be upset,no, disgusted with the way they are trying to picture the country in general. We might have lapses in dealing with situations like this but we aren't the worst. We simply lack the ability to deal with this the right way, simply unprepared. But, yes, this will not justify what happened here especially to the Hongkong government. No one should be blamed, I do agree. But I just couldn't help thinking that there were people who did not do their best to resolve the situation peacefully and blood free....
@hmkoct5 (2067)
• United States
24 Aug 10
The media takes their job to far sometimes. I believe in freedom of the press and everything, but there should be some rules they need to follow. There need to be rules about broadcasting or publishing things that can get people hurt or killed. It is terribly sad when lives are lost because of media. It needs to stop. Yes, I think it is very stupid!
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
Thank you for voicing out your honest opinion, Hmkoct5. . I'm not sure if the media or policemen in my country has some sort of rules of engagement when it comes to situations like this. But media and police department should wok hand in hand for the success of any operation. I really think heads of both parties need to sit down and talk about this seriously so as the next time (God forbids!) this incident happens again, they can act accordingly. They might save lives rather than jeopardize....
@jailo12 (332)
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
i rally don't who's to blame man ..we don't really know the whole story and the beginning ..^^
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
No, we don't have the right to put blame on anyone even if we have known the whole story. But we can at least voice out our opinion and what we thought could have been avoided or happened if this incident has been dealt accordingly...
• United States
24 Aug 10
I wasn't even aware that this had happened.
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
We were all over the news all over the world. Some giant international networks were keeping an eye of the incident. Philippines has been put to limelight again but this time, a bad one...
@bystander (2299)
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
probably, we're not... sometimes, things really get out of hand... especially when tension is running quite high...
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
I wouldn't want to think we are stupid,either, Bystander....True, things got out of hand and still we are so inexperienced to deal with it properly and accordingly. We can only hope that there would never a thing like this to happen again. May God forbids! But if the devil's playing a game on us, may the authorities have learned their lessons from this... Good morning, dear...
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
Too bad... after all the crisis, what follow is people look for someone to blame. I believe the next thing we should do is stop blaming anyone and begin the process of healing. :-(
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
I fully understand your point, Kyss_myle.... Those people were just doing what they thought was the right thing to do. And it was difficult for them to think what was the best thing to do when lives are concern. The oppressor(s)', the victims' and their own lives. We were just voicing out our honest opinion and perhaps disgust over the way the incident was mishandled. Even the President couldn't deny the fact that there were lapses... But, yes, I must agree with you that we should stop pointing fingers and start taking responsibilities over this matter. Anyways, there's no amount of justification to take back the lives of the those poor victims. Nor amount of apology to compensate the damages done.... We should carry our cross, move on and start healing... Good morning to you.:)
• Philippines
23 Aug 10
i agree to that they should not broadcast everything that happening outside especially the rude way of treating his family by the policemen.it will make the hostage taker more eager to continue his wrong doing and it will make him treat his hostages with no mercy.
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
The live coverage fueled even greater anger to the hostage taker. He was already feeling depressed (that's why he did what he did) and hopeless and wouldn't take anymore mistreatment from this government or the constabulary. We can understand that it was the biggest scoop of the day and the media wanted to deliver detail as it happened but they should have thought of the lives of the hostages. They could have recorded it and beamed it on air later for the whole world to see but that is when everything has been settled down...
@vijayanths (7878)
• India
23 Aug 10
This is wrong. Media should be more sensible. They give news fast, that is appreciable but they overdo it sometimes causing big problems. This is really miserable. They must have gone through hell for so many hours.Even my worst enemy should not go through this.
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
Hello, Vijay.:) Criminal or not, no one has the right to treat anyone the way they treated the hostage taker and the hostages as well. There had been complaints from the survivors that they were upset regarding the way the policemen has handled the situation. The tear gas made their survival inside the bus even more difficult... Yup, media must be brief about this kind of situation. Fast news is beneficial but somehow there should be exceptions and this one clearly need that exemption...
@RobtheRock (2485)
• United States
25 Aug 10
I agree, yes in some cases we are. In some ways mankind gets more intelligent and in other ways it gets more stupid. I see that many nations believe in Freedom of the Press like in America, but there are cases where the press should be kept out or show some kind of restraint.
@cerebellum (3871)
• United States
24 Aug 10
The media all over the world tends to think getting the story is more important than anything else. They do put their lives in danger, and the people should be informed, but there are certain things that should not be made public. At least not when the situation is going on. Sometimes the police hold back details from the press, but if they could get the information, they would make it public and that could be risking a lot of lives. The criminals could know everything the police are doing, and that makes it easier for him to escape being captured!
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
I really felt bad for what happened in the hostage taking drama recently. A friend of mine who is undergoing training in HK 'just informed that they hate the Philippines so much that they don't want to eat anything coming from the Phils. It's time to take a stand. This the time that the politicians should do something for their country.
• Philippines
24 Aug 10
Was the brother really harassed? I think a police saw him talking to someone on the phone and suspected he was talking to the hostage-taker. And if that brother really cared for the hostage-taker and the foreign hostages, he should have just cooperate to resolve the dispute. Instead, he was like an ignorant saying "sir, wala akong kasalanan" Why the hell make that statement? He could be somewhat guilty. That could have elicit sympathy of the hostage-taker to his brother and added more to his insanity.