Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Manila HOSTAGE Massacre..what a CIRCUS!

[ Above Photos source: AsiaOne Online News ]

This news Report below is from the New York Times.
Gunman and 8 Hostages Dead in the Philippines
Published: August 23, 2010

[ Photo source: New York Times ]
MANILA —A former police officer took a busload of tourists hostage in downtown Manila on Monday morning, opening a 12-hour standoff that was broadcast live on television, including its end as police commandos stormed the bus before a watching crowd.
The Lede Blog: Video of Manila Hostage Drama (August 23, 2010)
Erik De Castro/Reuters
A demand was posted by the hostage taker on the bus window.
An ex-policeman who hijacked a tourist bus (inside the bus) speaking with negotiators at the front of the bus in Manila on Monday.
Eight tourists, all from Hong Kong, were killed, along with the hostage-taker. He was identified as Rolando Mendoza, a 55-year-old officer who had been accused of robbery and extortion and was fired last year.

There were indications that Mr. Mendoza, who news reports said was armed with an M-16 assault rifle, was watching the live news broadcasts of the scene on a monitor inside the bus as it sat for hours, curtains drawn, at a major public plaza.
Throughout the day, the gunman wrote his demands for the return of his job and benefits on cardboard and pasted them on the windshield of the bus. One message read, “Big mistake to correct a big wrong decision.”

Late in the afternoon, he posted a message saying, “Media now,” apparently telling journalists to come to him. But by then the police prevented reporters from even getting near the bus.
At one point, the gunman’s brother complained to reporters near the scene that the police were threatening him; the cameras then showed him being detained by officers and shoved into a police car, his relatives wailing behind him. Shortly after, shots were heard from inside the bus.
Gunfire also broke out when the police tried to break the windshield and glass windows of the bus with sledgehammers. A bystander was hit in the leg by one of the bullets.

Mr. Mendoza gave an interview to Radio Mindanao Network, a Manila station, in which he admitted shooting two of the hostages and threatened to kill more.
“I shot two Chinese,” he told the station in Tagalog. “I will finish them all if they do not stop.”
The commandos struck after the bus driver jumped through a window and ran from the bus screaming, “Everybody is dead!”

The cameras captured the commandos, armed with rifles, surrounding the bus and opening an emergency exit, as emergency vehicles converged at the scene in heavy rain.
Police officers threw tear gas inside the bus, apparently forcing Mr. Mendoza to go near the bus’s main door, which they had torn down. Shots were heard and in a split second the body of a man — presumably Mr. Mendoza — was seen slumped by the door.
Several of the unharmed hostages, visibly shaken and some crying, were taken off the bus through the emergency exit.

President Benigno Aquino, in a news briefing around midnight, said Mr. Mendoza might have gained some advantage from the coverage. “To a certain extent, he may have had a bird’s eye view of the developments, which might not have helped,” the president said.
The case captivated — and angered — Filipinos, with many blaming the news coverage for the disastrous end.

The chief executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang, called the case a “major tragedy,” and criticized the Filipino authorities.
“The way it was handled, particularly the outcome, I find is disappointing,” Mr. Tsang said at a news conference in Hong Kong, Reuters reported.
But Mr. Aquino defended the actions of the authorities: “The idea was to let the ground commanders who are the experts in this field handle the operation with minimal interference from people who are less expert.”
Unk Dicko's observations and comments:
I happened to be passing through Tan Tock Seng Hospital Accident and Emergency foyer when I noticed people crowding around the "live" TV footage that was unfolding in Manila. That was the first time I got wind of the drama. Later when I arrived home, I immediately switched the TV on to follow the progress of the situation.
Before the shooting even started... I had a terrible feeling that "things" would go wrong badly.
And I told my wifey so. She too was watching. Why and How come?
Nothing to do with 6th sense.
It was what I saw that truly shocked me. The scene of the hostage bus, the people around it, the police, the media, the public and bystanders....the entire scene looks like a circus to me.
I did not see any clear evidence of TACTICAL ORGANISATION by anyone, police or otherwise.
I did not see any semblance of SERIOUSNESS of recognition of the GRAVITY of the situation.
Just WHO was in charge OVERALL?
Was it the President? The National Police Chief? The City Police Chief? Or the District Police Chief?
Has the "Ground Zero Commander" got the authority to take any action to end this DANGER speedily with FULL backing of the govt ? Is he trained for this at the highest level?
I know I have posed many questions but they would be the same if this had taken place here too.
There are a few thousand reports and very detailed news analysis about this most horrendous bungling rescue attempt by the Philippines
The excuses given by the Manila police and government were they "lack advance weapons, lack arms, lack this and lack that".
What a load of rubbish!
If you have been following the footage shown live, you would have noticed how the hostage-taker Rolando stood with his guard down umteenth times...even on the steps of the open bus.
He was super dangerous. He was super irrational.
He should have been taken down right there and then with a bullet! PERIOD!
No innocent lives would have been lost.
The country would not have been hugely embarassed.
Their economy would have picked up.
Today, their stock market has plunged, their peso has also gone down by a lot.
And worse is to come still, believe me.
LEADERSHIP in practically all their organisations, and most sadly and unfortunately for the poor victims, had that been evident, this hostage incident would have ended peacefully in a shorter time too.
In a crisis of this proportion, you need a Ground Zero Commander who can rise to the occasion.
From what the whole world saw...the amateurish antics of the police chaps as they tried to break into the bus, you already know the answer.
My deepest condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families and the Hong Kong people.

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