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Aftermath, One Small Step That Never Was

Eight tourists from Hong Kong lay dead or were fatally shot by the time the police seized control of the bus after a 12-hour standoff on Monday, during which the hostage taker also spoke by mobile phone with local radio stations.

That’s fact or factual.

“The fact that there was essentially live video was mistake number one,” said assistant professor John Harrison, a homeland security analyst at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

That is an opinion.

Maybe professor John Harrison should reiterate further and fully his opinion as he already sounds disgusting viewed from freedom of the press and viewed from rights of people to Information i.e. right of people to know what really is going on in the world. The fact that there was essentially live video was no mistake. It was very unfortunate. It was a misfortune. A case of bad luck to a group of tourist that day, to simplify the matter. Society cannot sacrifice the riding public and the whole world just because of one man holding a dozen or more hostages, denying people of information when they need them in what actually is happening.

Right now media is free to cover, as long as their own safety allows it, and as long they don’t hamper actual ground operations of authorities. Maybe Professor Harrison, especially in his stature, should be careful in what he is saying because he could actually be influencing a return of this country to fascism.

Today,  media can cover police precincts anywhere, any day, anytime. No, you don’t see names like Jake Maderazo, Mike Enriquez, Ted Failon, Erwin Tulfo, and many more of their kind hanging and speculating in there. But if you go in there, the odds are that you’ll find media rookies always hoping for some big break there. That’s how we got to learn  in our homes that a couple was charging their neighbor of molesting their child, or a carpenter stabbed an electrician with a chisel and got stabbed with  a screwdriver in return.

But, you see, police have nothing to hide and ought not to hide because what they always do is right [or they don’t do anything at all]. They have no closets stuffed with unwanted skeletons so to say. At least in principle. Surely there are things that they need to be privy and they have that in some quarters, like the privacy of their conference rooms.  And despite that kind of press freedom, we still saw in You Tube a suspect being tortured inside one police precinct. And I bet the suspect was reported to have died of something else, somewhere else! And if that dead felon did not even have a formal complaint or a warrant of arrest on him I doubt  if we can even call him a “suspect” of anything. Now, let’s imagine a law passed that could easily be invoked by any such criminal in police uniform to furtherance their acts.

He told AFP there should have been a media blackout to deny the hijacker feedback on what was going on around him.

Instead, he was able to follow events — including frenzied speculation by serving and former police chiefs appearing on Philippine networks — via the bus’s internal TV.

Surely Professor Harrison is not instigating a law to gag TV and radio right at or from the broadcasting stations. OK, maybe he means pushing reporters a few miles away from where they ought to cover. I think we should have a law that says media must cover right there where a hijacker and the police are negotiating face to face so we get a close up of their faces, instead.  But are  not they equally crazy?

OK, maybe Professor Harrison is saying No TV on board buses. That also must mean public transport in general, all public places, in fact everywhere, where hostage-taking might happen. Bus commuters – people,  won’t like that though it sounds better than all other implications of his thoughts.

But wait, the Professor means a law that will make it mandatory for bus operators to install bus television in such manner that they can be disabled or rendered useless from the outside. Now that sounds like the professor John Harrison and not any unthinking moron who does not know what he is talking about.

How about that folks?  An invention that will knock out any electronics as they are, inside a bus, or inside a building. I’m sure governments will pay handsomely for that than sacrifice freedom and democracy! You see, a free press and a free society are the pillars, the bastion, of democracy. We cannot talk of democracy without meaning the people, mind you.

A press that is subservient to a state is masked fascism. Maybe they can have that in My nm r but not in the Philippines, please. Because they are the initial points [attributed to] of the professor. And there is no such thing as a good fascist and a bad fascist because fascism is fascism. Democratic governments and states are by the people but power is something passing. They can be administered by the Pope one day and by Satan, chanting papal song while doing satanic deed, the next day.

Hong Kong newspapers bemoaned missed opportunities by police to end the siege much earlier, including a moment when the gunman waved from the bus door. Protestors Tuesday picketed the Chinese territory’s Philippine consulate.

Fostering hair-trigger mentality. Be trigger happy, some people will like that. Yeah, shoot at the first and earliest opportunity. Kill at the first hint of violence, which include hostage taking because the mere act  itself  is an act of violence. And hope it does not involve any foreign national gone nuts in Philippine territory or we will have an international row in our hands. Let’s imagine police did that. Now police is faced up with public out-roar why they did that when there were wide chances of resolving the crisis without any loss of life and property. Worst, the sniper grazed the hostage-taker in the ear and no square hole in between the eyes, so that it made him kill all his hostages before he was taken down! Damn!

You see Ex-police Rolando Mendoza was not a quacking duck like some people are telling themselves. I think he tried to be a respectable warrior – putting the act where the mouth is [or was it putting the mouth where the act is?] Whichever, or don’t open the mouth. They don’t talk peace and friendship while their fingers are in the trigger guards, or their holsters’ fly are open and with their fingers wriggling over their guns.

Ex-Captain Mendoza, by “carelessly” exposing himself, was clearly  and perfectly communicating by his actions. He knew police won’t shoot him that early and he was very well aware and in control of his own situation. He trusts so he should be trusted.  He means no harm so he should not be harmed.  A little back-step by him at that point would have put everything back to where they once belonged; he must have been thinking of that. But later he saw deceit that generated mistrust and distrust, and not even his shadow did he put in the skyline or put on anymore. Because, as some people know, lurking not far behind those tips is the thing called treachery, and yes, as we all saw, atrocity.

Dennis Wong Sing Wing, an associate professor of applied social studies at City University in Hong Kong, said the police operation was “really shocking” to watch as it unfolded live on TV.

“I am very angry about their unprofessional performance,” he said.

What we saw is what it was. I mean, the world saw reality. Focus seems to be in how police handled the operation. Some saw it as “ill-coordinated”. But it could also be ill-executed, ill-prepared and what might ills. I think SWAT, especially its assault teams, should be composed of field combat, battle tested, experienced personnel. I must be imagining too much of scenes in movies like Band of Brothers and comparing them to what we saw.

Looking back at them, just one small step  that never happened could have changed it all. And I think there was not one but more of them one small step, not any was realized, that converged to one sorry sad destiny mark in history that day.

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