My officemates who planned their Hong Kong trip on February decided to cancel their trip after the bloody Quirino Grandstand hostage-taking event shocked the world. A week ago, I was planning to bring my family to Hong Kong Disneyland next year. And two weeks from now, my brother will arrive from the Middle East; he will have his stop-over in where else but Hong Kong!
It was a rainy Monday night when I learned about the hostage-taking event through my neighbor. I was clueless and uninterested; not because I didn’t care about what was happening but because in my mind, I was confident that it would end very peacefully. Remember the 2007 hostage-taking incident wherein Bong Revilla and Chavit acted as negotiator?
The next day, I was shocked to know that eight people were killed during the hostage-taking. They were innocent people; foreigners who went here just to take a break and enjoy. My heart was mourning with the victims’ family. I wanted to know who is to blame.
According to reports, Senior Inspector Mendoza felt that the Ombudsman’s decision to sack him of a crime (extortion) that he did not commit was very unfair. His track record prior to that incident was impressive. Now, people were angry at him for what he did on that fateful Monday. Did he die for the cause that he was fighting for? Why did he have to kill innocent people and what triggered him? Who’s to blame for what he did?
The media covered the event LIVE. Thus, Mendoza was able to know what was happening outside the bus through TV. Who’s to blame for that coverage? The networks’ executives? Are they really after the ratings?
The SWAT team appeared unprepared and shaken. Who’s to blame for their performance? Do they really lack training?
Would it make a difference if P-Noy talked with the hostage-taker? He was reportedly on track with the situation but it seemed that Donald Tsang would disagree. If Manila Mayor Aflredo Lim talked with Mendoza, would there be a chance that he could pacify him? He, being a former military man?
I am particulary sympathetic to Jason Wong. He lost his parents; he’s just a child. He survived because a kind and tactful mother (a fellow tourist) asked Mendoza if she could bring with her the boy. (They were released together with her kids and an elderly woman who was said to be suffering from diarrhea.)
Yes, Monday’s incident was an isolated case but can we blame Hong Kong if they turn their anger to our OFW’s there? Unfair as it is and it only proves that whatever we do as individuals, good or bad, it equates to how foreigners view us as a nation and vice versa.