Snafu (situation normal all fouled up)

WE can never turn back the hands of time and return the nine lives lost in last Monday’s hostage-taking incident which many earlier predicted will be resolved peacefully but ended in a snafu.

And no amount of blame game, fault-finding and grandstanding by some of our lawmakers and other critics will ever erase the grief of the families of the victims and the hostage-taker himself.

I must say that even the best laid out plans in life, including efforts to peacefully resolve said incident, may turn for the worse when those involved make a wrong turn while implementing their plans.

President Pnoy has claimed responsibility for the incident and asked for forgiveness from the victims’ families, but others opted to save face and pointed to others as culpable despite mounting calls that they be axed for their actions or inactions.

Many Filipinos who watched the incident live on TV and heard it on radio have stories to tell, some sensible, some are not, but I pity those critics, particularly politicians who make public their biases and instant expertise in handling such kind of situation.

Like weather forecasting, nobody can predict precisely what “disturbed” hostage-taker Capt. Joselito Mendoza, including those he held hostage, would do in case of a snafu.

This is also true in the case of the Crisis Management Committee chaired by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, the PNP ground commander Gen. Rudy Magtibay, his designated negotiator Supt. Yebra and the MPD SWAT men who assaulted the bus bearing the suspect and the hostages.

For me, let’s condemn the incident and reserve our judgment on who made mistakes and were found culpable after a thorough and impartial investigation on those who officially took part in the bloody incident.

After the investigation and prosecution of those officers who may be found liable for their shortcomings or liabilities, the concerned authorities should not forget to drum up the lessons learned from the incident and how to prevent it from happening again in the future.


The country’s barangay chairmen and their council members, the Sangguniang Kabataan chair and their council members are in a quandary and awaiting word from the Palace and Congress if the scheduled October 25, 2010 elections will push through.

As of now, these village officials are confused because they are getting mixed signals from people in the Palace (who wanted the village polls to push through) and Congress (the Lower House and the Senate) who wanted it postponed and reset for next year. Adding to confusion is the DILG’s proposal to abolish the SK and instead just elect a single Youth Representative to the Barangay Council.

Both the Palace and Congress only have a little over two months to decide firmly on whether the village polls would push through or not. Both should make their acts fast and prevent confusion among these leaders from the grassroots level.

The country’s leaders should realize that not all village officials are performing well and some of their constituents wanted them replaced ASAP for inefficiency, laxity, abuse of authority and other related offenses.


In the aftermath of last Monday’s bloody hostage-taking incident in Manila, some people shared the thoughts that Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson who was caught, arrested, jailed and later granted bail by Hong Kong authorities for possession of 26 grams of cocaine last month, would earn the ire of many Hong Kong nationals, including those who would try his case.

Based on latest reports, many OFWs in the former British territory, many of them domestic helpers, have received walking papers, if not harsh words from their employers because of the killing of eight Hong Kong nationals by a Filipino police officer during a hostage situation in Manila last Monday. Although out on bail, Singson was not allowed to leave Hong Kong and authorities required him to report to a police station every day.

The death of eight Hong Kong nationals in Manila triggered a collateral damage against Filipinos visiting or working in Hong Kong. Let’s just hope Hong Kong authorities won’t impose “collateral hatred” on Singson and sentence him to a much longer prison term.


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