All is said and done - what's next?

All is said and done - what's next?

Manila : Philippines | Aug 24, 2010 at 10:42 PM PDT
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TV Patrol 07292010 - Ma. Venus Raj

In the light of the recent updates of the hostage crisis last Monday,the country was now again in the spotlight of the world stage as the crisis involved foreign nationals who were killed, hurt and traumatized. The Hong Kong administration ordered a stiff travel advisory regarding their constituents going to the Philippines,which I think fair enough to protect their people but CNN reported that the country is now the unsafest place to travel and it spells injustice. As Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno said, "it could happen anywhere in the world."

There were unperturbed counts on the incompetence of the police to handle such a scenario. Other parties blamed the media for the blow-by-blow account of the happenings, eventually, provoking the hostage taker to get angry when he saw his brother badly manhandled by the police. After minute or so of the scene, Capt. Mendoza killed some of the hostages. Senator Legarda in defense of the mediamen being a former broadcast journalist herself said that they cannot be blamed for such an action, they were just doing their job. Had the media been blocked off from the scene or were asked not to cover the event they would have followed.

Senator Legarda added that in this case, a constitutional power could be invoked to order a media blockout, but there was no apparent leadership in the scene that transpired on that fateful day. The president was out of reach, the police officials were just adamant about the scene, some were even relaxed as if it was just nothing more than serious stuff and even others waved and smiled at the all-seeing-eyes of the camera.

I heard from Mike Enriquez this morning in his radio show backing up Legarda's statement. He reiterated that mediamen would always follow whatever action or order any official would release. In this case, there wasn't even someone who would brief the media about what's going on. What happened was a circus of different stations from different networks finding their own spaces in the wide areas of the crime scene just to cover up the event.

According to Judge Jimmy Santiago, a former negotiator, there were violations from the rules of engagement in the crisis. Foreign observers babbled about the lack of training and equipment of the response team from PNP.Even after the shoot out, instead of the medical rescue team to go in first in the crime, it was caught on cam that bystanders came in first and exploited the evidences. It was a mishap that should be realized by the PNP and the government.

The whole world is watching and in an effort to save face from the disaster, PNoy immediately ordered a press conference around Tuesday midnight. He tackled about how he plans to strengthen the disaster team response and equip them with training and materials. The chief of police also was present and briefed the media about the number of deaths which accounted to 8 but as of this writing, additional fatalities were recorded from the hospitals where they were sent.

OFW's in Hong Kong faces a possible threat of termination as the event angered most of the citizens. Some were actually terminated and would soon left home without a job, adding up to the millions already unemployed.

The Philippine tourism security is now in question and it would mean a backlash on our surging tourism industry.

All has been said and done, lives were lost, the hostage taker was dead with a family left without a father, what else could we do better?

As today, the country observed a National Day of Mourning for the slain victims of the hostage crisis. Public offices raised their flags on half-mast and the question of how does one going to observe this day remains unchanged.

It is a fact that people tend to be good in seeing the mistakes of others. This is what happened after the gruesome event.

But it was Maria Venus Raj, who didn't realize her mistake in a major major way!

thepurplewriter is based in Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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