Monday, August 23, 2010

What ifs? (My sincerest sympathy and condolences to the people affected by the August 23, 2010 hostage in Manila, Philippines)

I am so saddened by what happened to the Philippines yesterday. Lives have been wasted just because of some unmagnified case of a mere man asking for a fair judgment or re-opening of his case. Frustration can really bring out the worst in people. A lot of issues have triggered for this man to commit a hostage and kill people that I hope he didn't really intend to kill. I feel sorry for the Hong Kong/Chinese Nationals who died and their family who will live with this tragedy. It is be very unfair for all these tourists to experience such tragedy when all they wanted was to have a vacation. I feel remorse for what could have been done that as such this tragedy wouldn't have happened.

I feel a sense of pity being a Filipino being abroad. I grew up being aware of the hardships and issues that thrives in the Philippines. I feel guilty that somehow that I left the country to have a better life. I felt that somehow my promise to make Philippines a better nation is somewhat all been forgotten. I love the Philippines, there is no question to that. I have always been hopeful but somehow sometimes you get tired of trying and hoping. And the worst of it all is that sometimes you just feel hopeless. I don't want to be considered as a Filipino who escaped her country.

At one point in my life, a man who was pursuing me asked me if I would ever leave the Philippines. With high nose, I said that I wouldn't. I will serve by country until my last breath. He said I will retract what I said. At that point, I thought he was wrong but now I am reconsidering that I guess he would have been right after all. I was doing public service until I graduated college serving the students and drafting some policies and programs in my economics class on how to improve the Philippines. I saw what hard life really is. I have examined how imperfect and corrupted my country has been. I was aware of that and was energetic to make a change. The Philippines has a chance. We can still redeem our country. I am ever hopeful. But somehow when the opportunity came for us to migrate, everything changed even my perspective. I suddenly saw the bad things about the Philippines - corruption, inefficient and ineffective system, crab mentality, pollution, and colonial mentality. Suddenly, the nationalistic person in me just died or more or less diminished.

There are lessons to be learned from this tragedy. This is not the first time that one person was ignored of his right to finalization or fair trial. This wasn't the first time lives got wasted because of some ineffective SOP. This wasn't the first time that lives are wasted. I hope this is the last. I am having my high hopes up.

One mistake can create a big impact. This man just wanted a fair trial or at least his open be re-opened. I am not being biased and saying that what he did was right. He was wrong on involving those tourists with his issues and killing some of them. He still killed people. He still endangered lives of people. He did wrong. But I want to emphasize is what happened before that. What could have been done to prevent that tragedy – the what ifs. He just wanted to be heard. How can he be heard when the people who should hear him out has closed their ears already after just one suspected mistake of his and judged him without even considering the accomplishments and services he have given the Philippine National Police (PNP). Sometimes life can really be unfair. I feel pity. He just wanted answers. He was asking for answers. But he never got them. When he got the answers, which he has been waiting for months, form the Office of the Ombudsman regarding his motion, it was just too late. It can be surprising how small unrecognized frustrations can lead to tragic harmful effects.

The world has seen what happened. Most of the people criticize how the PNP and SWAT handled the situation. They say that their SOP was a failure. PNP and SWAT could have saved more lives if they really knew what they were doing. The tragedy is over but the impact lives not just from to the people who died and to their the family but also of the survivors, the Philippine and Chinese Nations, people who was aware of the situation, and the family of the hostage taker, P/INSP Rolando Mendoza.

I hope justice will be served to everyone. This means not only to the people who died including P/INSP Rolando Mendoza but also to the survivors. I hope those who are responsible why this occurred shall be scrutinized. I admire Pres. Aquino's statement, though given late, that from this tragedy lessons are learned and improvements should be made in the system especially in the Philippine National Police (regarding equipments and training). Added is that he ordered that P/INSP Mendoza's case will be reopened to be studied. Philippine Government should learn from this and really do something about it. Changes can take a long time but as long as there is something done, the wait will be worth the while. I just hope that isn't just any tragedy that will fade as the days go by. This shouldn't be forgotten. Though different scenario, I hope this will not be like the stories of Tara Santilices or Alexis Tioseco and Nika Bohnic whose lives were lost for nonsense reasons and their cases were still unresolved. I am sure that I won't forget this.

I am a Filipino and will always be a Filipino. I will never give up on the Philippines. Someday somehow I will do more that what I did before for my country. I have never forsaken you my beloved Philippines. I vow to return to you my motherland. I shall improve myself and bring the best in me when I return.

A lot of what ifs fill my mind. But the reality is lives were lost. And I hope lessons will be learned. Correct that, lessons should be learned, changes should be made, and improvements should be imposed. But with all of these, I pray for everyone who is going through pain and misery with this tragedy. I hope they overcome this. Believe me when I say that is hard to say to a person who has just a love one. My sincerest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones from this tragedy.

For more information about the August 23, 2010 hostage in Manila Philippines, see:


  1. Nakakaiyak naman ito...thank you for the kind words I too felt sympathy for Captain Mendoza, I believe he was a good man (the fact that the surviving victims even spoke in his defense..."He doesn't want to kill us, he only started shooting us when the negotiations failed...) but he was treated unfairly and provoked to commit this big mistake while he is not on his right mind. Kung may kasalanan sya mas malaki ang kasalanan ng mga taong wlang puso at nagbingi bingihan. Dalhin sna nila habambuhay ang konsenysa ng mga pangyayari.

    Rest in peace for the victims and let's pray too for Captain Mendoza who is also a victim of injustice. I wish he was able to ask forgiveness before his last breath.

    1. Hi Liz, I apologize that it took me two years to notice this comment. Thank you for taking the time to read my reaction. Let us continue to pray for the innocent victims of heinous crimes.