here’s etta rosales, incoming chief of the commission on human rights on hostage-taker’s demands:
“Dapat binigay na nila yung hinihingi, ano ba naman yun katumbas ng buhay. Kapag tinimbang mo yung dalawa, mas mabigat ang usapin yung (They should have granted the request instantly because lives are at stake.to give protection to the lives of the innocent)” …
and check out ricardo saludo’s Lessons from the grandstand carnage. he reminds us of the ducut hostage-taking and how successfully that was handled, oo nga naman.
Back then, top government officials were involved in handling the crisis early on, from Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, and Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando to Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, Senator Bong Revilla and former Ilocos Sur governor Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson.
Their combined efforts helped the police resolve the crisis peacefully. Secretary Ermita made sure the public and the media were briefed on what the government was doing (see his 2007 press conference on youtube). Sec. Cabral assured Ducut that the children would get a good education—his avowed reason for staging the incident. And Ducut eventually surrendered to Governor Singson.
This time around, however, Lesson No. 2—get the top state brass involved—was deemed inappropriate. On Monday the Aquino Administration preferred to let the PNP ground commander to take full charge of the tourist bus hijacking, with limited public involvement by higher-ups. In his press briefing on the incident, President Benigno Aquino 3rd defended the police and expressed the fear that involving high officials would escalate the hostage-taker’s demands.
Thankfully, in 2007 that did not happen; instead, national and city leaders helped resolve the potentially fatal standoff. Of course, Ducut, a civil engineer who founded the nursery school where his hostages studied, is a far different character than dismissed police senior superintendent Mendoza, who was fired without retirement benefits by the Ombudsman for extortion and abuse. So maybe there was good reason to use a different approach than the one that successfully harnessed top brass in 2007.
but surely a “different approach” should still have included negotiations by negotiators whose words carried weight and who could have prevailed on, worked with, the ombudsman to devise a creative way of temporarily skirting the law to prevent bloodshed.
for all we know mendoza was waiting for a bong revilla, even a chavit singson, to attend to him, so when all he got was an isko moreno, well, kaka-agitate naman talaga, di ba. i swear, jojo binay would could have worked wonders. i bet chavit would have loved to help. but i suppose the palace didn’t want anyone grandstanding and upstaging the prez?