I think the whole world witnessed one of the most embarrassing displays of mismanaging a hostage situation. Everyone felt that these things could only happen in movies, and I think those in the Police also felt the same way. No one wanted for things to end in this bloody fashion. There were innocent casualties, and the hostage taker was finally gunned down unceremoniously after their nth chance. It was an utter failure.

The damage has been done, and we have finally reached the Black level of HK’s travel alert. This means that ALL HK residents are advised not to travel to the Philippines. Tourism will be hit badly, and this will be felt in months to come. I’ve read some tweets and comments why this is being singled out as where it has happened in other places as well. The problem is – it’s pretty much a big deal for a nation with a strategy of mendicancy who’s strongly depends on tourism and foreign aid in order to survive.

The glaring failure in this atrocious event is that it’s a failure of institutions. These institutions were established to protect a nation and its people.

The POLICE. It’s a big failure for them. I was thinking earlier — how can you trust an institution whose goal is to protect its citizen if your hostage taker is part of this institution? trust How can you trust the police after you witness the poor mismanagement of the situation? I cannot even imagine how a dismissed policeman could get such high-grade ammunition! The Philippine National Police as an institution needs to reform! There’s a need for investments on trainings, and protecting its image! It’s an overhaul!

The MEDIA. It’s the media’s failure to regulate itself. Its job is to report what’s happening, but national security should still come first! People’s safety should come first! Media practitioners overstepped on this one and I think it’s a vital contributory factor on the failure of the hostage situation. Reporting every move of the police?! Reporting unnecessary news and comments?! There is no way media can be trusted. They have too much freedom.

The CROWD. The crowd was uncontrollable. A very distinctly Filipino trait is being usisero and today, we see how vile that trait is. Let the police be given the space to do its function! Don’t be an obstruction by joining a crowd to watch the happenings. You gain nothing from it but maybe a stray bullet like what happened earlier. You become a casualty; a burden.

Too many blaming I know, but there is reform needed. I strongly believe that there are some things that need to happen to act as catalysts to improve the current policies or institutions. Of course, we do not want bad things to happen, but the fact of life is that we only learn from failures because no one wants to fail again.


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