COMMENT (here): gibbs, you always have strong opinions on social matters, curious to find out your take on the hostage taking crisis. hindi ba “theatrical” din naman ang nangyayari dito? :)
Hmmm, you don't follow me on Twitter, do you? (Quick, here!) It's there where I've been letting off steam real-time. And since my tweets are automatically uploaded on Facebook, they generate separate threads there. A recap, from the top:
• PNP = sheer staggering, unbelievable incompetence.
• policeman takes hostages. policemen bungle rescue. who in god's name do you turn to in this case? heads MUST roll here.
• no police direction, so media was all over. that simple. put a perimeter fence there, and media would follow. d cops should've been on top.
• side by side w/ sentimental coverage of mr. mendoza's grievances, dig too into the young chef he and his men allegedly forced to eat shabu.
• when u're being manhandled by d cops, believe me, u'd thank d rolling TV news camera that records ur ordeal and restrains further abuse.
• pulis on tv: 'a successful hostage negotiation is where no one get hurts.'--sige na, oks lang mali grammar, basta sana tama ang ginagawa.
• corruption and deceit won't be noynoy's undoing. indecisiveness, it seems, will be. in this case, he is truly his mother's son.
So there, I hope that answers the commenter's question (though not much there on the “theatrical” angle). This particular tweet, by the way--no police direction, so media was all over. that simple. put a perimeter fence there, and media would follow. d cops should've been on top.--generated this discussion on my FB page (Reo is a lawyer-friend based in Tokyo; Dona is a fellow Inquirer journalist):
• REO: nope. i don't think media will follow police orders. sila pa! (di ka kasali hehehe). Media bosses should have ordered restraint. Sa kanila lang susunod ang reporters.
• DONA PAZZIBUGAN-PORCALLA: yes the police ground commander shld have immediately ordered a video blackout of the brother's arrest and the assault. but really, kung walang police order ganon ba katanga ang mga bossing ng dos/anc not to realize that they are compromising/broadcasting police operations to the hostage taker; paano kaya kung kapatid nila yung nasa loob ng van, would they still have aired all those things live?
• ME: they DID follow orders. it was the police that herded them to a certain vantage point, that's why puro long shots and zoom ang visuals before the bloodbath. but afterwards, when the police should've cordoned off the area as a crime scene, it didn't--so naturally everyone, media and usisero alike, swarmed the bus. the task to impose order and minimize provocation was the police's; that it would arrest mendoza's brother in full glare of the cameras, goading the unhinged man inside to begin shooting, was the height of carelessness.
• REO: The Mendoza brothers ran to the media area to seek “protection”. Kahit ako, I had to turn the TV volume off dahil sa ingay ng dalawa. How else could the police have contained them without causing a stir? But if there was no blow-by-blow coverage of the event, the hostage-taker wouldn't have had any idea of what was going on.
• ME: the blow-by-blow is the media's task, and those guys ran to them precisely because the exposure guaranteed them, in their mind, a measure of security. who knew that the TV coverage was also being seen inside the bus, as eventually surfaced only when mendoza protested his brother's arrest, which he saw presumably on the bus monitor? whose responsibility was it to know what that bus had inside, how it was designed, etc, down to whether it had a tv monitor? the cops', right? they had the whole day to find out, but they apparently didn't! because the police were at the front lines, the ONLY source of first-hand information, it was their responsibility to determine which information was critical and which was not, which one might compromise operations and which would not. to ask that media censor itself WITHOUT official clarity or guideline is asking that it shortchange its work.
• REO: Pray tell me, after the Manila Pen incident, haven't the police and media discussed rules of engagement for crisis scenarios? Taken that one party fails to act as required, will it be a go-signal for the other party to have a field day? What happened to civic duty? I do not fault the reporters - it's more the province of media's management. I'd like to know if any of the news organizations gave specific guidelines as to how to act yesterday (they also had the entire day to d so). Or was it just “go until the police arrests you”.
• ME: this is not a question of civic duty. those cops and media people were doing their respective civic duties, what was expected of them, what they were trained to do and had sworn to do. the question is how adequately and responsibly they did their tasks... more later, i'm off my desk. :)
End of the back and forth--for now. I'm pretty certain you've had the same exchange with people around you. Keep at it; better we're worked up over what happened than to shrug our shoulders in apathy.
P.S. You thinking of joining the fray by commenting anonymously? Forget it. Just this once, in this major major issue that I imagine you're frothing in the mouth, just like the rest of us, to have your say, have the balls to credit your opinion with your real name. You ask the police and media to be more responsible citizens? Walk your talk by standing up for your own role as an engaged citizen. “Anonymous” is for wusses.