The aftermath of the bloody hostage-taking incident in Manila has transformed it into a crazy game of Russian roulette with people blaming on everyone for the unfortunate outcome of a tense standoff at the Quirino Grandstand where a former police official held a bus with Chinese tourist on board hostage. We all know what happened - 8 hostages were killed and the hostage taker himself.

But there is another angle to this infamous event, this is where the police fumbled their plan to rescue the hostages while the media spoon-fed the hostage-taker everything mundane happenings at the grandstand area to the crucial decisions made by the authorities. Even our "usisero" culture played a big part in the bloody outcome. Perhaps, the man was already restless with all the people circling around the bus and the arrest of his brother, who was branded as an accomplice. Some public officials were notably absent during the entire ordeal while the President's line was busy even if the Hong Kong executive called. And now the Internet forums and news sites at home and abroad are inundated with criticisms, anti-Filipino rhetoric, and blatant homophobic and racist epithets.

Some Chinese blame the "failure" on the Philippines and its people. In fact, there were already some instances of anti-Filipino actions made by some Hong Kong residents on Filipino OFWs and tourists. Adding insult to injury has intensified as a high profile drug case involving a congressman, who happens to be a son of a notable Ilocano governor and former gambling mate of a deposed ex-President, and nursing students from a renowned Manila university were caught taking pictures at the bullet-riddled bus while flashing their smiles as if the massacre never took place. Some policemen also joined the fun and took snapshots with the ill-fated bus as background and all of these pictures made its way to social networking sites thereby rubbing the wounds of hate even further. Thanks guys for making us look like an ass in front of the grieving Hong Kong public.

I agree on some online netizens here, we shouldn't blame people rather demand responsibility for their misdeeds and inactions. After all when some people's lives were lost, someone has to accept the responsibility and explain why it all went horribly wrong. Lets discuss why they wen't wrong and what they should do so that this nightmare won't happen again.

The Media
They are the most powerful people in the country and I mean it with emphasis. In fact, they are even more powerful than the President. After all they inform and entertain us, would you agree. We watch our favorite telenovelas, showbiz news, noontime variety shows and basketball on television. Does it mean that the media can control us? Well technically yes, they influence us on everything from buying soap, eating at Jollibee, get drunk with San Miguel, and cry our hearts out at our favorite primetime drama shows. Does it mean that they can show what they want? It think NO.

If we watch TV from morning to midnight, 60% of the shows are telenovelas, 20% are morning, noontime, early evening and late evening news, 10% are game shows, and the rest are all regular programs and advertisements. Thats our television staple food and the fact that the news reports in the morning are almost the same in the evening including the hourly news updates. Take for example the two popular news program on television, they have this format in their shows: headliners, national news, corruption, showbiz updates, some world news, some interesting news bits, showbiz news... I'm just wondering since when entertainment gossips, which are based on intrigues and failed relations of local TV stars, were considered as news. I thought news should be factual and are hosted by TV news anchors with reputable journalistic background? Much like what we saw on CNN and other foreign news network. I don't want to watch local TV news anchors masquerading as journalists but in reality, more like tabloid and gossip mongerers. They ask stupid questions and push people to provide speculations and guesswork like "Mayor L ikaw po ba ang nag utos na dakpin si XXX?" or "May sniper na...nasa may bus na ang mga SWAT...ano kaya ang kanilang gagawin?"

In the guise of freedom of the press, they do their job unabated. Well I do praise their courage under fire just to tell the story but sometimes the "truth can definitely hurt." A news blackout should have been necessary so that the hostage-taker won't get a heads up on the entire happening.

The Police
Another contentious issue was the role of the police in the carnage. Though the hostage-taker was a former policeman himself. The police seemed to under estimate the guy, considering that he was a former official and an award-winning one to boot. Of course we are afraid to get killed but its their job to take a hit and in that case, they were just simple unprepared or rather the element of surprise was lost because of the real-time media update. Whatever the case, they never did their job to cordon the area from unnecessary access by onlookers and the media.

They should have taken the guy out early in the afternoon when he opened the bus door to talk with the negotiators. I think most of the top brass were planning on who should get the credit and eventual promotion if the incident was defused successfully. But now, they are pointing fingers to the mayor.

Lacked of proper equipment like kevlar vests and night vision goggles all contributed to the mess. Ill-timed tactics and positioning exposed, you do the math and definitely a recipe for failure. There's no need to gather evidence when the crime scene is already compromised.

The Rain
Can we blame the rain? Well the rain played a big part as it restricted the police movement and even caused more confusion. Good thing no one has sued God for it.

The Officials
Command responsibility can be a factor because people who gave orders and directives may have caused the entire domino effect. Let just ask these questions that may have a profound impact to the negotiations. Who planned the rescue effort? Who ordered the arrest of the hostage-taker's brother? Why is the President relatively mum about the incident?

These are hard questions that need answers. And like vultures that swoop down on the carcasses, many lawmakers have made "pogi" points by recommending new laws to "protect" us like one actor-sentor who grilled a police chief on television while an "honorable" congressman recommended total news blackout on incidents like it. There is no need for new laws, implementation is what we need.

The Usiseros
We have destroyed the integrity of the evidence as many people converged upon the site to take pictures like spoils of war.

What would be your answer on who's responsible? I'm not looking for the convenient scapegoat rather knowing the people that should apologise and be punished for their misdeeds and inactions. You are the judge...

As the world looked down upon us after the bloody hostage incident that killed foreign nationals in our own country. How we'll we ever repay our dues to them after all the blunders and catastrophic mistakes made by our government officials and the police force in handling that volatile incident that ended in the needless deaths of innocents. Instead of securing the crime scene from the ravages of voracious media men and ravenous packs of "curious" onlookers. The ill-fated bus that has become an infamous image in the eyes of Hong Kong citizens and Chinese as a whole that should have been a memorial to the people who died now becomes an unlikely tourist attraction even for these students who posed for pictures and even posted in social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. I realize that its a shame to be a Filipino when we can't even respect the sensitivities of other people. Though we have raised our flag half mast, still no one gave their heartfelt apologies but only condolences with half-witted excuses of what went wrong.

While the Chinese are crying their hearts out, considering the fact that some of their countrymen are still suffering from the recent floods, we are posing for photographs with our smiling faces. No wonder, Filipinos in Hong Kong and elsewhere are facing the brunt of the blame from our "collective" guilt.

Did I forgot to mention that three of the killed hostages were also Canadian citizens and what makes it more interesting is that the location is where President Aquino took his oath in office.

The hostage of Chinese tourists inside a tourist bus ended in a bloody mess as the Philippine National Police failed to rescue them. A former police captain, who was demanding for his reinstatement from the police force because of extortion charges, was also killed. Aside from the killing of hostages, what makes it sad and humiliating is that the police were so incompetent and ill-prepared that they didn't know what to do.

Now the headline is being splashed across the world. We are indeed a laughing stock in Internet forums as they blame it collectively on our country and our people when in fact it was due to some people's mishandling of a delicate situation. Many officials would wash their hands off and distance themselves from this infamy. Tell that to the victim's family, tell that to the Hong Kong government, tell that to the People's Republic of China.

A sad day for all of us...

While I was looking for references for the article that I'm currently writing, I found this picture in Wikipedia wherein an advertisement for Chupa Chups lollipop reminded the public that "Sucking does not kill." Well, I agree though...I buy that public relations reminder but... it also said "Stop Smoking, start SUCKING!" Now that's a big statement. Take it from them, the Spaniards know alot better than us. So start sucking now... I mean go get your Chupa Chups in convenience stores near you...

With the backdrop of the growing unrests over the immigration issue in the United States and the brouhaha over the planned construction of an Islamic center in the heart of New York makes me wonder about this Yahoo! News response posted by an anonymous troll.

If you cross the North Korean border illegally you get 12 years hard labor. 
If you cross the Iranian border illegally you are detained indefinitely. 
If you cross the Afghan border illegally, you get shot. 
If you cross the Saudi Arabian border illegally you will be jailed. 
If you cross the Chinese border illegally you may never be heard from again. 
If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally you will be branded a spy and your fate will be sealed. 
If you cross the Mexican borders illegally you will jailed for two years. 
If you cross the Cuban border illegally you will be thrown into political prison to rot. 
If you cross the United States border illegally you get: 
1 - A job 
2 - A driver's license 
3 - A Social Security card 
4 - Welfare 
5 - Food stamps 
6 - Credit cards 
7 - Subsidized rent or a loan to buy a house 
8 - Free education 
9 - Free health care 
10 - A lobbyist in Washington 
11 - Billions of dollars in public documents printed in your language 
12 - Millions of servicemen and women who are willing to - and do - die for your right to the ways and means of our @#$%----ution 
13 - And the right to carry the flag of your country - the one you walked out on - while you call America racist and protest that you don't get enough respect.

Its Friday the 13th and I'm not in a good mood because of the fact of some circumstances I really don't want to talk about right now. I think its just some people rubs me the wrong way or the fact that I have this feeling that I am like a shadowy figure that everybody encounters everyday but don't bother to ask about "what's up" or "how you doing." I may sound like anti-social or xenophobic but I really don't talk to people when I don't have business with them besides its just a waste of my time. People who don't talk a lot doesn't mean that they are not friendly or aloof, its just they're practical. Why will you talk when you don't have something to say? Ok, lets just put a period to this in personal messaging. Period for you people!

Just browsing Youtube last night and found this video of a Ricky Hatton interview dubbed in Bisaya, which I find hilarious because of the fact that the dubbing was so good that it seems Hatton knows how to speak Bisaya. Aside from that the "chipmunk" voice made my cheeks swell and I can't control myself laughing to death as the guys dubbing the video made it seem like a conversation between two drunk friends. The voice acting and Hatton's actual actions were nearly flawless.

Check it out...

I've been waiting for this game, its August 13...Friday the 13th, the game will be released. Can't wait to download it... Of course its all about the Industrial Revolution, the American Civil War, World War I all rolled into one game. But what interests me the most is how to use the Philippines early in the game and get its independence from Spain before the Americans and other foreign powers enter the scene.

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{picture#} JP Canonigo is a historian, professional blogger and copywriter, online content specialist, copywriter, video game junkie, sports fanatic and jack-of-all trades. {facebook#} {twitter#} {google#}
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