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When Is It Time To Call In The Cavalry?

August 31, 2010

When is crime in progress a local police operation and when does it merit direct involvement of the both the national leadership along with crime/terror suppression units?

This question has been niggling me former days now in the aftermath of what is arguably the worst hostage taking incident we’ve seen, a drama that left us transfixed before our TV sets for 11-plus arduous hours through to the thoroughly amateurish way so-called SWAT policemen ‘assaulted’ the tourist bus using sledge hammers that only managed to punch puny holes through the laminated plastic glass windows.

The Keystone Cops went about their task, totally surrendering what should have been the life-saving element of surprise while killer Rolando Mendoza, once a multi-awarded cop, monitored the police tactics in real time.

It has now come to light that President Noynoy Aquino was himself monitoring the live broadcast drama but, according to his spokesman, did not see it necessary to call in the cavalry, in a manner of speaking, “because he had full confidence in the in the local (City of Manila) crisis management team” led by no other than Mayor Alfredo ‘Dirty Harry’ Lim.

Atty. Edwin Lacierda, interviewed by veteran news anchorperson Tina Monzon-Palma, refused to concede that Malacanang underestimated the situation in front of the historic Quirino Grandstand despite the fact that the ready-to-kill-and-die dismissed cop was armed to the teeth and had 12 foreign tourists on the killing end of his official issue automatic rifle and hand gun/s.

Mr. Lacierda was also hard put to explain satisfactorily why the Palace did not consider it paramount junk diplomatic protocol and direct call Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Chang.

“Besides,” Lacierda insisted,”we were following established protocols that give the local government unit concerned overall control.”

Sorry Mr. Spokesman, not a few Filipinos find hard to accept that the administration is still going through a learning curve while a “local incident” turned into a traumatic international incident.

Must reading, Attorney:

This video is also instructive:


DILG Secretary Secretary Jesse Robredo is now complaining that he “was not at all involved in the handling of the crisis while Police Director General Jesus Versoza decided to fly to a scheduled engagement in Cagayan De Oro at 3 p.m. of November 23 “thinking that the efforts to resolve the situation were going well.”

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