puwede na ba akong umiyak?

MAKATI, Philippines – The tragic murder of the 8 innocent tourists from Hong Kong the other day brings up a plethora of thoughts and feelings to one’s mind and heart, making it difficult to succinctly describe the assault on our senses.  It is hard to be detached from such an event and retreat to the “ganun talaga sa Pilipinas” quip when things don’t have to be and shouldn’t have to be the way they are.  It is hard not to care when so many things that went wrong cannot be described as an accident, an act of God, a twist of fate.  It is hard not to care because 8 innocent souls died.

So I am all at once sad, embarrassed, frustrated and now – very, very angry.

I am angry at the lack of personal accountability of the people whose incompetence, poor judgment and lack of common sense led to this tragedy. They know who they are because their consciences tell them that what they did cost the lives of 8 human beings.

But instead of UNCONDITIONALLY admitting that they did wrong, removing themselves from positions where they can again do harm, holding themselves personally accountable – they resort to such things as waiting for the full results of the investigation, seeking shelter in the supposed nuance of the situation, etcetera, etcetera.

Wala na ba kayong maski katiting man lang na hiya?

It is hard not to be angry when we have comments like the following:

“There was nothing shameful. That is their opinion, that is what they saw. In our point of view, given the situation and our meager resources, we did well.” – PNP Spokesman Senior Supt. Agrimero Cruz

If everyone acted perfectly, we would not be where we are today.  But there are nuances we must look at and understand.” – Maria Ressa, ABS CBN

I dare say the PNP needs a new spokesman. I cannot believe he just said that they did well. What planet is he on? The actions (or inaction, as the case may be) of your organization led to the death of 8 people. How can you say you did well? You had enough resources to control the media. You had enough resources not to allow the brother of the hostage taker to be involved in the negotiations. You had enough resources to prevent the escalation of tension with the “bungled arrest” of your pseudo-negotiator. You had enough resources to prevent the hostage taker from going over the edge, instead, what do you do, you shove him over the edge.

BANG – GAME OVER!

As for Ms. Ressa, I cannot understand how having common sense fits into your description of a nuance. You’ve been with CNN. You know and even now state your awareness of standards for covering hostage situations.  You had the authority to unilaterally impose these standards on your organization WHEN IT COULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE.  I cannot stand the duplicity of it all.

BANG – GAME OVER!

BANG – GAME OVER!

Ngayon, puwede na ba akong umiyak?


Hey Juan de la Cruz, do you really care?

MAKATI, Philippines – The tragedy may be isolated – an aggrieved cop seeking to be heard – the symptoms leading to this deperate and ultimately tragic act, sadly are not. A broken justice system, machismo covering up incompetence, a media needing a dose of common sense – these, among other things, have all contributed to this tragedy. There is hope for change but it is not just up to Noy and government – we have to change. Let us be humble enough and courageous enough to admit that if we do not become part of the solution, then we are part of the problem.