I first encountered this hostage drama in MindyTV's Facebook status yesterday morning, dismissed it as another forgettable episode and went to bed to dream of happy dreams.

Before I dashed for work, I overheard TV anchor Ted Failon interviewing the hostage-taker. He repeatedly asked the latter what exactly would cease this all then the line went dead. I had no time to probe what's going on because, as always, I was running late. I had a bus to catch.

Photo from Laarni.

Little did I know the gravity of this hostage drama when I finally saw the TV coverage on the bus around 19:30. No other news was as newsworthy: there was no split screen, no commercial breaks, no other news segment. I felt the whole nation stopped dead on their tracks to tune in. Us passengers were completely silent, horrified, frustrated and, thanks to Mike Enriquez when he called Mel Tiangco as "Weng", momentarily humored.

So Rolando Mendoza was a dismissed police officer who wants to get reinstated by taking a bunch of innocent tourists from Hong Kong as hostages. Wow. Wait, isn't his case being reviewed already by the Ombudsman?

It was disappointing to witness the joined forces of the police and SWAT (now mockingly dubbed as Sobrang Wala Akong Training, Sugod. Wait. Atras. Tago!., among others) display incompetence (ex. overlooking the emergency exit) and cowardice (ex. taking 45 minutes, as per CNN, to get rid of the entrance door) to gun down one of their kind.

Photo source here.

When I landed in Libertad, I was doubly alert for and eager to hail the first LRT-Ayala bus to pass by. It's almost not about punctuality at work anymore; please let me know what's going on. Fortunately, the next bus was also tuned in but, due to the heavy rainfall, we initially had poor reception. I missed the part where the bus driver miraculously managed to break free and declared all passengers were already lifeless. Soon enough, the exchange of bullets took place, resulting to the actual demise of the poor victims. Apparently, the hostage-taker was also tuned in to the news, patiently waiting for the next clues.

By this time, I've reached my bus stop and braved the downpour. However, some stupid taxi driver sped by in front of me, throwing a huge amount of possibly dirty water on my tube dress and doll shoes. The long parade of vehicles made me ran back for cover. When the coast was clear, I ran as rapid as I could. I was grateful I didn't slip and fall headfirst or something. The sooner I reach the office, the better. It was getting too cold.

When I had my turn to log in, the biometrics won't even take my fingerprint. I didn't have any dry fabric to press on - my clothes, bag, handkerchief were like sponges. After a couple more attempts to log in, it went through. It was 20:38. So I was soaking wet, dehydrated, impatient for my turn for the dryer and aching to see the happy ending of this drama for the next 30 long minutes.

When I emerged from the comfort room around 21:10, the pantry was filled with equally concerned employees, tuned in to the coverage. To my shock, there was no mineral water available from both water dispensers that time. To my relief, this hair-raising incident was history.

It's about being condemned by the whole world in the present.

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At 1:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a sad, sad story.

Perhaps it could have been handled better (understatement), but the real fault lies with the loony who took the hostages to begin with.

What must happen now is that the agencies involved must learn from this incident and correct their errors. However, they must also be careful not to overcompensate and overreact to what, hopefully, will never happen again.


At 2:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't say how much rage, disappointment, shock & shame I felt since yesterday. I pray for the survivors; the victims and their families.

I pray for mercy and light.


At 6:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like Fris, I can only feel sadness and outrage. I couldn't say anything more. My chest hurts every time I remember this incident. We can only pray for the eternal repose of their souls. :(


At 5:54 PM , Blogger lornadahl said...

Indeed, it was such a gloomy day for everyone. So disheartening. :'(


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