bus hostage bloodshed those accountable – mendoza, RMN (media), PNP, robredo, noynoy aquino
rolando mendoza, mass murderer of innocent people, a criminal - it is with this man that this bus hostage bloodshed all began and it is with him where practically all of the accountabilities rest. nothing else matters, none of any of the reason he said on why he started the hostage taking is acceptable nor does it justify his actions.
the fact is rolando mendoza is a mass murderer of innocent people and he has brought shame and dishonor to himself, the PNP, hos country and to his family.
he is a policeman, with multiple awards but none of that counts now with this singular act of his as he not only committed a horrible crime, he committed a crime that he as a policeman is supposed to prevent.
his family displayed all the 17 awards he earned as a policeman on top of his coffin during his wake but none of those now mean anything and none of those the family can be proud of. the innocent people who are even foreigners had nothing to do with mendoza’s grievances, taking them as hostages and murdering them is simply an act of terror.
the ombudsman – inefficient and slow justice can kill . while remote and down at the line of accountability for the bloodshed, we need to note the fact that there seem to be something very wrong in the way they conduct their business of dispensing justice. there could be many more but the most obvious one is the very slow pace of cases being resolved by the ombudsman.
the PNP - dismal operational failure, no saving grace at all. we all saw it one live tv, the PNP failed in their handling of the hostage drama. the hostage taking is a police matter, it is an incident they have the responsibility, the power and the training to resolve the natter.
the PNP failed in strategic thinking, decision making, planning, execution, control and equipment.
- they did not have the proper tools to break the window glasses of the bus. they attempted in four different places but failed in all. the sledgehammer they used was not enough to break the glass.
- they absolutely had no control on the whole situation – crowd control was dismal and media control was non-existent. hostage negotiations require complete focus and control from the authorities with the hostage taker, something they did not have as media and other people were able to get in touch with the hostage taker. moments after the hostage taker was killed, the public was allowed to go to the bus unhampered and uncontrolled.
- we think it was correct to prevent gregorio, the brother of the hostage taker from having further contact with the hostage taker and to be removed from the place as he would have been a loose canon, but they have to both the effort to remove him from the place? they made that decision while inside the police station but they were unable to do it effectively as according to mayor lim, the police did not have handcuffs to restrain gregorio. not being handcuffed allowed gregorio to run out to where media was and made a scandalous effort to delay his arrest by the police. it did not help that it appears the policemen and they were many did not seem to know how to restrain and remove 1 person from the scene. the handcuff finally came but that was after many minutes of live video showed the terror and drama of the arrest which not only the public saw but rolando the hostage tajer also saw through a tv inside the bus,
- planning and execution of the bus assault was another dismal failure, it went beyond conedic, it was idiotic. they attempted 4 times in 4 different places and each one failed. they used a sledgehammer to break the glass in 3 different places but it was unable to break the glass. it took them more than an hour to get inside the bus, very long for the hostage taker to make defensive moves inside the bus and more critically, a long time to get the hostage taker agitated, angry and in a panic mode. they did not seem to think yhis through. what is even more astonishing is that media reported after the incident that the SWAT team did rehearse the assault at the back of the grandstand. the rehearsal was not carried out to the actual and the resulting comedic effort is what has hurt the PNP the most next to the death of many of the hostages.
media - live radio interview with the hostage taker canceled the trust and put into doubt the police negotiator. RMN radio was on the cellphone with the hostage taker minutes before the hostage taker saw his brother being arrested by the police and before he started to kill the hostages. we think this call did a lot of damage to the efforts the negotiation as it undermined the authority and credibility of the hostage negotiator.
and yet if you listen to the interview, it was a non-consequential interview from an audience point of view. the topic pursued by the radio interviewer was what the hostage will be doing next, a topic that is best left unsaid and for the hostage taker. in fact asking that question may have given the hostage taker a chance to think through his actions, plan better or worst if he did not have a plan yet, get him to think it through.
we think RMN acted very irresponsible if not violating laws like obstruction.
chilling audio recording of interview with media and hostage taker moments before hostages were shot ; view here :
DILG chief robredo – failure to manage and show leadership on actions and moves after the hostage crisis. while the PNP is all to blame for the failed efforts during the hostage crisis, robredo is to be blamed for what happened, actually what did not happen after the hostage crisis.
the PNP us under DILG chief robredo, he should taken leadership in applying corrective measures after the crisis. the most obvious action would have been to suspend from their jobs all key officers involved in hostage crisis:
- Director Leocadio Santiago who is head of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO)
- Chief Supt. Rodolfo Magtibay, director of the Manila Police District (MPD) who was the field commander during the hostage crisis
- Chief Insp. Santiago Pascual the SWAT leader who bungled the whole thing
- All other leaders of the various teams who participated in the siege
aside from suspending the key personnel during the failed PNP efforts, robredo shuld have shown leadership in drawing up action plans for the near future. a lot of the public’s dismay and anger over the government’s failure during the hostage crisis would have been mollified had these things been done immediately, within a day or two after it happened. robredo’s inaction allowed the ill feelings to percolate.
days after the incident and in fact to this day, we do not see any leadership emerging on how to address the emotions and fix the situation. there is no one single person that we can really identify as to who is on top. this should have been robredo’s role being the top leader of the government agency to which the PNP belong to.
president noynoy aquino failed to show leadership, calm down emotions and failed to provide inspiration and direction to get things done right. while aquino cannot be faulted for the failure of the PNP during the actual siege and bungled rescue, he like DILG chief robredo should take the blame for the actions after the incident. aquino’s failure may be much less than robredo, but both of them essentially were supposed to perform the same function.
however, not providing direction and inspiration for the government agencies and the nations is a failure that is solely’s aquino. aquino seemed to be almost invisible during the whole time. if ever he was present his actions and words were of no significance and of very little weight.
we think this is the first real failure of the aquino administration.