Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Philippines hostage crisis: 9 killed

I followed the unfolding episode of the Philippines hostage crisis yesterday night....with a heavy heart. It was really regrettable that the crisis ended with 9 Hong Kong tourists killed! It was not only a sad day for the loved ones of the killed hostages, any man with a heart would be feeling heavy within too.

The Philippines police could have been more tactical. Having troops surrounding the seized bus could only have aggravated the hostage taker more. There should have been more tactical, diplomatic course of actions employed, with the imperative on safeguarding precious lives!

I am not sure whether some of the blame should have been levied against the bus driver. If only the bus driver has not agreed to the hitch-hiking of the bus by the hostage taker, such a tradegy would not have happened.

I have this sense of utter disrespect for the bus driver when I saw him abandoning the rest of the other passengers held captive, running for his life just before the Philippines police stormed the bus!

As the captain of the bus, the bus driver has the sworn responsibility of ensuring his passengers reach their destinations safely. The bus driver has already erred by letting a "wolf in a sheep clothing" into the bus enroute, endangering the lives of all in the bus. Hence the driver could have done all he could to thwart the killing, to salvage the situation and remedy his "fatal error", as the captain of the bus.

Being a bus captain, and being one of the very few Filipinos on the wretched bus, he could have helped talk terms with the hostage taker.

It is truly inspring to have read reports before, of pilots and service crew staying behind and helping passengers of crashed aircraft to safety, sacrificing their own lives in the process. In Singapore, we have our own shining example in Heng Yeow Peow. These are truly exemplary heros who deserve our praise!

Maybe I might have too much expectations of the bus driver, as when faced in such a situation, the bus driver has every right to save his very own life too! This is what sets ordinary folks like him from the aforementioned extraordinary service heros we hail!

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