By now everyone is familiar with what has transpired at Quirino Grandstand, the place where just a few weeks before, the Filipinos celebrated a new era of hope and change with the inauguration of the 15th president of the Philippine Republic.
I will not go much into the details on how the hostage drama went down, you must be filled to the brim with the gory details...courtesy of the coverage of the international news community. But I want to focus on the effects and the response that followed afterwards and inject a few opinions here and there.
As expected, the Filipino people as a whole was blamed for the event, especially by the Chinese and the HongKong nationals. This went as far as 2 OFW's in HK losing their jobs as 'retribution' for what has happened, job placements cancelled, transactions ceased. And as if Filipinos are not stereotyped and maltreated enough in HK (as experienced by my friends who went there on a holiday) but now it gotten even worse. I understand that the whole nation is in mourning. It was truly an unfortunate event. People has become irrational due to their raging emotions, looking for someone to blame for the incident, looking for answers. But to blame the race where the antagonist was from is a bit...racist, to say the least. Its like as if the Filipino people pooled in their resources, and sent in the former chief inspector after the tourists.
And when you point out this logic, they change their stance. They say that it is the anger towards the ineffectiveness of the police, the Philippine government and the insensitive people to went out their way to have their photos taken with the bus. They are right. What they did is terrible, almost like celebrating the events that occurred there. For me, they should have respected and thought about the the feelings of the victims. And yes the police who were tasked of pacifying the situation was ill prepared and uncoordinated. But isn't it more productive to voice your qualms to the group of individuals in question, rather than diverting your anger to the ones who were not involved, doing their best day by day to survive and give a better future for their families? Its like the child who was beaten by their parent because they were scolded by their boss or superior.
And its only now that the government begins to review their crisis management protocols. Should they have been prepared for that all this time? With all that interaction with various crisis management agencies from abroad? What have we, the working class, have been paying taxes for all this time?
Special groups within the police force should always be working on their tactics and techniques to combat the ever evolving criminal elements. Its not a question of equipment but mental preparedness and conditioning. If you look at the SWAT in New York, who has a Filipino sergeant with them, the are continuously honing their tactics. With the repeating training, their movement becomes second nature to them. I admit, I have lesser experience on law enforcement, but it seems I have more tactical knowledge just by watching videos released by international military and law enforcement agencies.
There are a lot of factors that contributed to the events that transpired that fateful day. But blaming the whole race for it justifies the adage; "the person is wise, but people are panicky and ignorant".
Lest this be a lesson to all sides concerned as not to repeat its occurrence.