What is appalling about the commando assault?

Some wonder why the hooha over the bungled commando assault by the Philippines police. Many who have watched the drama live on TV would have the same impression as well, without any prompting, that it was an amateurist work of art. And the truth is revealing itself to confirm that it was a bungle, nothing less. Even the Philippines Govt admitted it outright and calling for a thorough impression. What is appalling about the whole episode is the total disregard of the lives of the tourists. That was the impression that I got. The police were running around the bus in full view of the kidnapper and that itself is the most provocative act. You could see that killing the kidnapper was their only concern. Now with the truth disclosed that the kidnapper was no terrorist, no hard core criminal or robber or extremist, it is much harder to swallow that the incident ended in so many death, including the death of the kidnapper. He was an unhappy man. No, he was a model cop that was unjustly dismissed or framed up. At least that was his version of the story. Would such a man who was demanding for an investigation and probably a reinstatement of his job become a killer? His demands were proof that he wanted his job back, with no intention to kill. And who would want to kill him and let to the killing of the innocent tourists? Why couldn't they appease him with an investigation to his dismissal and settle his grievance later, saving the lives of the tourists? The priority, it seemed, was to apprehend or kill the kidnapper. The lives of the tourists did not matter all. The tourists were just calafares in a police and robber movie. Donald Tsang tried the whole day to get in touch with Aquino but in vain. They did not want Aquino to speak to Donald Tsang. And when Aquino appeared on TV the same day and the day after, he was all smiling with no hints of sadness that so many innocent lives were lost for nothing. And now they are still going to investigate the dead cop's dismissal, which was what the dead cop wanted. And there were many pictures of the cops involved in the botched operation taking photos with the bullet ridden bus as the backdrop. It was all like fun, a picnic. These pictures are now circulating in the internet. I have seen several of them. All the police men and women were smiling like they had just completed a movie shooting and celebrating for a job well done. That itself would tell what was important and what was not to them. It is appalling and disgusting, really.


Wally Buffet said...

I don't want to say much today about the sorry episode in case I am "shot" down again by righteous people who have never set foot on that country:

1. The cavalier attitude of the police posing for pictures tell a story. Would you seriously want to go to a country like that. Singapore, despite its flaws is a hundred times safer.

2. The response of the Hong Kong government was exemplary. Just looking at the picture on page A4 of today's paper makes me thoroughly envious of HongKongers. A government chartered A320 to bring back the victims, dead or alive. A bevy of government officials waiting at the tarmac to receive the remains. And that is not even mentioning that Mr. Donald Tsang and his team scurried the last two days to get news from the smiling Aquino as if their own kin were involved. No wonder I feel good every time I land in Hong Kong.


Anonymous said...

Just like to say me feels utterly disappointed, hurt and disturbed by the handlings of the Incident by the Philippines Authority.

Me shares fully the disappointment of Redbean to the non-chalant and cavalier attitude displayed by the Philippino President. With his total disregard of the Hong Kong Authority and People, President Aquino must be the most conceited and ill-mannered Head of Nation me had came across.

Having said the above, me would still like to say the Philippinoes in general are friendly people.


Anonymous said...

The commando think they are training in the camp or doing a shoot for some movie.Someone on top must have given the go ahead. Frankly not a single life will be lost if serious attempt is made to negotiate with the hostage.This is like a daylight murder. Very sad to see family who lost their loved one.

Matilah_Singapura said...

You are trying to find "justice" in a life boat situation.

Good luck :-)

Hey man, shit happens. People with knowledge and access to weapons go nuts.

The govt is supposed to protect individuals from such incidents. Good luck to you if you believe that too :-)

I have been a long time advocate of the "right" of responsible, stable and criminal record-free individuals owning and carring firearms.

Had some of the tourists been armed, and perhpas the tourguide and bus driver, the gunman wouldn't have been able to even post his demands on the windows of the bus. He would have been taken out by the civilians.

So go ahead and criticise me for my true-blue love of personal self defense including the ownership and carrying of weapons.

To quote sci-fi writer Bob Heinlein:"An Armed Society IS A POLITE Society"

I've lived in small communities where the nearest police station is 10's or 100's of km away, and therefore everyone including grandmas knows how to shoot and most people own weapons. In fact, in certain communities it is MANDATORY to own and know how to use a firearm.

When we defend ourselves we also defend each other.

John Howard's biggest mistake was to remove many of the firearms from Aust homes. I remember being able to buy a gun through the post.

Has criminal gun violence decreased in Aust since John Howards massive disarmament of the citizens? No. The bad guys will ALWAYS get weapons because they do so ILLEGALLY.

It is the crime-free, peaceful and responsible citizens who suffer being unable to defend themselves.

The govt cannot protect you even in life-boat situations where already the level of choas and uncertainty is so high, it could turn out anyway.

Police are noted for their "cavalier" attitude. Of course. If the citizens were armed, I would suggest the cops would be so "ya ya", because the cops KNOW that their own parents, brothers and grown up children can legally own and know how to use firearms.

Equalising freedom, or raising the level of "power" of the individual close to the level of power of the governing authority makes for a safer, freer and more responsive society.

If you hand all the power to a central authority, you are essentially FUCKED in times of crisis.

Ask the millions of people waiting for "govt help" in China and Pakistan where floods and landslides have already killed hundreds of thousands.

Matilah_Singapura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matilah_Singapura said...


What happens when the police don’t shoot?
35 people die, 21 others wounded.
Port Arthur 1996

Why didn’t the cops shoot?
Rules of engagement too complex and limiting:

The Tasmania Police however had strict instructions that they were not to shoot the gunman. Deputy Commissioner, later Commissioner Richard McCreadie gave us two
explanations as to why the Tasmania Police were not permitted to defend themselves and shoot the gunman.

(1) There were very strict rules of engagement

(2) If the police had shot the gunman then that would have required a Coronial inquiry.

If the cops shot at the Bryant they would have faced a lot of trouble. If civilians were killed or wounded in a police assault, there’d be even more shit. So even the police SWAT (known as TRG – Tactical Response Group in Aust) were essentially “powerless” to stop Bryant’s rampage.

i.e. “no win” situation for the police, and a definitely losing proposition for the victims/ hostages – none of whom were armed.

Gee, what a bummer for all the peaceful, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens just out and about enjoying life with their families.

Add to that, John Howard’s populist-political response: disarm the citizens of Aust who LEGALLY own weapons. Bad guys…well, they don’t give a shit about the law anyway so now the bad guys have the guns, the police – who aren’t allowed to engage – have guns, and the citizens…well I suppose they’re still “allowed” by the govt to have HOPE.

What a fucking idiotic mess.

Should the families of the HK tourists sue the Philippine State?


Not that it will essentially do anything. There will still be people who go nuts and go out in public with loaded weapons looking to kill others.

No one can stop that from happening. However, a change in culture and mindset might give the peaceful law-abiding citizens a better chance, IF they're allowed to arm themselves for their own protection.