The recent Manila bus siege gave President Noynoy Aquino another opportunity to exhibit one of the two things he does best, which is to do nothing. As the tragedy of the hostage situation was unfolding, shocked and curious Filipinos were wondering where P.Noy was and what he was doing the entire time. Until now, I have never seen his Facebook fan page inundated with hate messages, like “WHERE ARE YOU P.NOY? DUWAG KA!” or something to that effect over and over. On a normal day, you can see his fan page full of moronic messages, like “Hi Tito Noy! Idol talaga kita!”
Even up to the very end, I was kind of hoping and expecting that P.Noy would do the other thing that he does best which is, to make empty rhetorical statements. That way, perhaps the Chinese officials would have felt a little calmer. Unfortunately, he was unreachable even by the governor of Hong Kong, Donald Chang, who reportedly tried to contact him during the 12-hour ordeal.
It is now evident that even with a large communications team, P.Noy still manages to make himself unavailable to the task of communicating effectively. One of his communications secretaries, Herminio “Sonny” Coloma, should change the “F” in his 3Fs to FAIL, FAIL, FAIL owing to their failure to implement the “feed in, feed forward and feedback” that he wanted to introduce as a team.
As predicted before in my previous blog, P.Noy’s refusal to stay in Malacanang is proving to be a nightmare for national and international relations. Not only has he functioned on a nine-to-five schedule ever since he started his term, it is now beginning to emerge that it is proving quite difficult for international leaders to contact him because he does not stick around in Malacanang longer than necessary.
What the heck was P.Noy thinking?!? Why didn’t he make a statement earlier during the day? Even something as simple as “The Philippine National Police are on top of things” or “We are doing our best.” Could it be because P.Noy was certain from the beginning that the Philippine National Police were not really on top of things? Or could it be because the PNP were not really doing their best? Three hours after the siege ended, that is exactly what he confirmed to the Media – that the PNP need more training for this kind of situation. Well, obviously P.Noy wasn’t confident enough to assure anyone let alone the Hong Kong official that the Philippine authorities were doing their best.
As mentioned in another previous blog of mine, it is the average Filipino’s anti-elitist attitude or lack of specialised training and experience in a given field that produces a lot of amateurish professionals particularly in our police force. They are supposed to be there to protect the public and whose particular duties are the preservation of good order, the prevention and detection of crime, and the enforcement of the laws. The Philippine Media for its part, failed to act prudently and was said to contribute to the agitation creeping up on hostage-taker and ex-policeman Rolando Mendoza who reportedly was monitoring the news on a TV set installed in the bus.
If we can’t rely on the police for safety and the Media to behave prudently, who can we rely on? P.Noy should be very, very nervous because he should realise that he cannot rely on them to preserve his own life just in case he finds himself in a similar situation.
With eight Chinese nationals dead as a result of the stand-off, Hong Kong has now issued its top-level black travel alert for the Philippines. I’m pretty sure, other countries will follow suit with similar warnings. There goes what’s left of our tourism industry — all going down the drain. Other Filipinos who wear rose-tinted glasses are dismissing the incident as a one-off, saying that the disgruntled Mendoza is just one tiny speck of dust among millions of peace loving Filipinos. Oh yeah, tell that to the marines! Who in their right mind would come here after this tragedy? Perverts and pedophiles, maybe, because it will be a lot cheaper to come here now. Even more disturbing are those who say that hostage crises happen to other countries too. It’s as if that excuses the incompetence of the PNP and the way P.Noy handled it.
There are two things P.Noy Aquino does best, one is to do nothing just to avoid further gaffes. Frankly, his supporters always come out defending him when he does nothing. They always come out saying, there was nothing he could do or “we were waiting it out.” The next thing that P.Noy does best is to release empty rhetorical statements coupled with an arrogant grin like “We want a thorough investigation of everything that transpired.” The real question is Mr. President: and then what? Too bad he cannot blame this one on former President Gloria Arroyo.