Painful Truths And The Time For Healing (Retitled)
The truth liberates.
But before that sense of liberation comes, sick individuals (and in the case of societies like ours) institutions need to go through self flagellation and public ridicule for long ignored processes are put in place and capabilities are overhauled.
So it is that two weeks after a busload of foreign tourists were mowed down by an unjustly dismissed police officer, Filipinos are angrily realizing that the seemingly mindless way SWAT team assaulted the Hong Thai bus at the Quirino Grandstand actually reflected the uncoordinated and almost cavalier way the Manila crisis management team went about its work.
It has also come to light that for all the billions spent on making the police better equipped and better trained, the unreformed agency does not even have an official rulebook on hostage-taking negotiation nor a formal hostage-taking negotiations unit!
Another revelation: the dismissal of the killer, Rolando Mendoza, may have been prematurely implemented given exiting jurisprudence forbidding such action for punitive actions exceeding one month for erring lawmen.
Without getting ahead of the inquiry findings, the Office of the Ombudsman itself may find itself on the carpet for its handling of Mendoza’s case.
The hysterical traffic cop, Gregorio Mendoza, has admitted he feared being killed while being removed from the scene for interfering with the negotiations.
But methinks we are on our way to getting out of the rut.
Days before his early retirement, the national police chief has belatedly acknowledged his command responsibility while it’s been revealed that the interior and local government secretary, who’s been perceived as trying to escape blame, is only serving in an acting capacity.
The DILG undersecretary, a practical shooting buddy of the President, is now also saying that he’s ready to take the fall if the ongoing probe into the fiasco finds him wanting.
President Nonoy Aquino has publicly declared that “heads will roll.”
Everyone is looking forward to that, including the people of Hong Kong who have been treated to the transparent way our lady secretary of justice has been leading the inquiry.
The inquiry itself is part of the cathartic process taking place, with Hong Kong people once again warming up to Filipino migrant workers in the former British colony and a Philippine police investigation team being welcomed to interview the survivors in the Manila incident.
My top photo montage is of Hong Kong youths who visited Filipino migrants (some 150,000 in HK) at a downtown park the other to convey their friendship.
Perhaps emblematic of the warmed mood of Hong Kong people for Filipino migrants is this from Cyd Ho, a member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council:
Domestic helpers who left their home and children and came all the way over to Hong Kong to help us with our domestic work are also victims of a corrupted and incapable government. So, most people in Hong Kong would not be hostile towards the Philippine friends in Hong Kong,
The healing is finally beginning. IT MUST