The number of hours that the hostage drama which took place yesterday near the Luneta Park in Metro Manila lasted for eleven hours. It took less than that for the Hong Kong authorities to express their displeasure and dismay over how the entire thing was handled by the Philippine authorities.
Hongkong has now blacklisted the Philippines as a travel destination for its citizens. The blacklisting although deserved to a certain extent still leaves a bad taste in the mouth and is a challenge for the current President and his tourism secretary on how to turn things around. I don’t know how our country can make things up to what happened yesterday but for sure it highlighted the ineptitude of our current police force to deal effectively with hostage situations.
I was amused when I read that one of the hostage negotiators was Isko Moreno, Vice Mayor of Manila. I was sure that he did his best, though his best only resulted to him getting on the trending list of some search engines and social networks. Off topic, if you search for Isko Moreno on google you’ll see some of his more glamorous pics. lol.
Anyway, I’m not sure if I’m just watching too many TV series or movies but usually when there’s a hostage situation, they put in a trained hostage negotiator to handle things. Somebody who really knows what to say or do in situations like this. I guess in yesterday’s hostage drama, such wasn’t the case.
I’m not sure if Hongkong’s banning of the Philippines as an unsafe place for travel would trickle down to neighboring countries. I do hope that’s not gonna happen. But for the time being this will have a definite impact on the countries struggling tourism industry.
Yesterday’s crisis was an unfortunate event, one that could have been prevented had there been more capable parties at work. Hongkong, in coming to grips with their grief lashed out with a stiff sanction, one that the Philippines surely felt, and one that HK authorities, I’m sure are hoping, would, to a certain degree, appease the outrage that HK citizens must have be feeling.
Hopefully the rest of the world would see this as an isolated appalling incident and not let emotions cloud their judgment. The Philippines is still a safe place to travel and one incident like what happened yesterday should not be the sole basis for judging whether this country is a safe place for tourists.