Counting Potatoes

Quirky Observations, Opinions and Theories on Life

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1. Spend more than 10 hours sitting on your ass without asking for help from a well equipped, well trained team that could've done infinitely better!

2. Hostage taker opens bus door.. clear shot to at least disable the hostage taker .. sniper doing something else.. nice..

3. No media lockdown whatsoever.. Hostage taker has real time updates of what the police are doing should he use a portable tv, a tv capable phone, a radio or an internet capable phone. wait.. isnt there a TV on the bus too! really great.. hostage taker advantage = 10, police = 0..

talk about fanning the flames! the local media is just as guilty for the deaths of the hostages as the hostage taker in this case.. I hope there's a special place in hell for them..

4. an yeah.. while you're at it, have every tom, dick and harry from the media muddle up the negotiations by allowing them to interview the hostage taker by phone during the crisis!

5. No intel, police have no idea whatsoever how many hostage takers there are and what their firearms and positions are. directional sound recorders? infrared/thermal sights? nope.. too techie for these guys..

6. No Experts: a bus technician would've advised the police about the button that opens the door, the mechanism of the rear door, alternate entries or observation areas inside the cargo compartment, wiring blueprints that could've disabled the TV inside the bus, etc.

7. Shoot the tires of the bus where hostage taker and hostages are making the situation more desperate for the hostage taker without any clear advantage for the police. How do you plan to negotiate with the hostage taker when you've just shown your intentions??!!

8. Bring the hostage taker's brother to the scene to aid the negotiator then proceed to harass him in front of international media and within sight of the bus enraging the hostage taker and destabilizing the situation. So much for negotiations..

and when hostage taker demands that his brother be released or else.. ignore it.. sweating man on the ground is infinitely more important than man with gun and hostages on bus..

9. Make an assault on the bus with media reporting every move like its fucking pinoy big brother.. yeah right.. so much for the element of surprise too..

10. Assault the bus with no clear and concise battle plan beyond opening the door.. Really a winning combination.. let's open the door and shoot down the hostage taker.. greaaat...

11. Dont use tactical mirrors that could've avoided the scene where the cops crouched together liked scared children in front of the bus. A tactical mirror could've let the police see inside the bus without undue risk.

12. On top of that, No one bothers with controlled plastic explosives on this one to breach the bus.. No flashbangs or night vision either which could've given immense advantage to the police.. noopee.. they prefer it ala Chuck Norris style with axes and handguns..

13. Lose the element of surprise further and more valuable time by using an axe to breach the bus' windows and door.. saw a SWAT member with a beer belly trying to squeeze in the bus too.. really inspiring..

The door of a bus is designed to withstand 50Gs of instantaneous force or more. A hammer will do nothing to break it in one hit. There's an emergency lever under the bus that can be used to open the door. Nobody knew about it. Instead, they proceeded to hammer all sides of the fucking bus like it's a pinata.

14. After all the element of surprise is lost beyond all hope, dont think of shining a bright searchlight in front or side of bus to at least shed some light on the situation inside the bus and give police situational advantage because it blinds the hostage taker and lets the police see the situation inside.. but nope.. these guys would rather play pin the tail on the donkey..

15. Realize after 30 minutes that the door can be forced off by using a chain connected to a moving car..

16. Of course if they'd consulted a bus expert, they could've known that a bus door opens more easily when pushed inwards not pulled outwards. In this case, a battering ram could've done much better. as it happened, the rope snapped.. what a surprise..

17. Multiple simultaneous entries: Abandon the bright but frustratingly late idea when rear emergency door is forced open.. Apparently one open door is infinitely better than two for these police.. Two entries could've given the police a positional advantage in a firefight inside the bus but no.. One door is enough..

18. with the police having no situational advantage whatsoever, proceed to give more advantage to the hostage taker by turning on the vicinity lights.. riiiight.. have a marching band play while you're attacking the bus while you're at it too..

19. Think of the tear gas idea after a gazillion minutes of trying to hack down the bus doors with axes.. then proceed to storm bus without gas masks.. tear gas advantage nullified.. nice..

20. Speaking about the element of surprise, assault teams in this kind of situations have to assume that they only have a few seconds or a few minutes at most to take down the hostage taker and secure the place. Why? because the moment from which the hostage taker is made aware that an attack is ongoing to the time he is taken down could be spent shooting his hostages. Total time between initial assault to the death of the hostage taker = more than one hour... it was like watching a worms Armageddon game..

Luckily, some hostages lived through the nightmare.. not because of police competence, but because the hostage taker didnt kill them all even though he was given more than 30 minutes by the police to do so..

Moreover, the hostage taker wasnt asking for a billion dollars and an escape helicopter! He was asking to be given back his job and benefits! If the negotiator and the government at least gave some hope to the hostage taker that his grievances would be listened to, there would've been no dead hostages and all the advantage would switch over to the police and the government AFTER the hostage crisis!

Is this the best our country's police forces can do???!! Are these the people that are supposed to protect us???!! Was this the best plan that our vaunted SWAT team could come up with???!!! I've played harder more well thought out counterstrike games with kids no more than 10 years old!!! Please please please make someone accountable for this bloody fiasco!!

So when its not an ordinary non aircon bus, we're out of luck... o_O

or maybe... this is the real behind the scenes training... o_O

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Anonymous said...


theradical96 said...

Hahhaha you beat to this topic! XD

Nice post!

Anonymous said...

so true! NO PLANS or anything. police in our country are lazy and corrupt! 99% of our policemen have big belly, no workouts, and PNP should also be disciplined!.. it's a shame to us filipino about this incident!

Anonymous said...

you are so right! How stupid can they all get?! The negotiator, the police, the swat - thay were all terribly incompetent! If the negotiation was handled well, all the killings would not have happened in the first place! These people are just wasting government resources! Get out of there!!!

mhaco said...

i definitely agree with all of your observations!

Anonymous said...

great insight. im not in a right position to say how easy could that hostage-crisis possibly be handled correctly. but, hey arent you guys (policemen) well-trained in dealing with this kinda chaos? instead of you taking part of most drivers lil earnings everyday, why dont you policemen sharpen up your skills in shooting, planning and combat, IF YOU REALLY DO HAVE THAT.

thanks author for letting me post my comment.

Anonymous said...

I'm posting from HK. Sadly I fully agree with your thorough assessment. The decent people of the Philippines deserve to have a police force that serves and protects, not this rubbish.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there are 101 fuck ways but the first 15 kicks very hard already. Perhaps, everybody could post more till we reach 101. and to add: 16. Allow all the crowds to swarm right after the incident in order to spoil any vital evidences in the conduct of investigation and administer crowd control management later (the following day) when SOCOs are conducting their investigations and in taking pictures with the bus as the background for souvenir and memento.

Dennis said...

Its a rub-out. plain and simple. If you listen to the reports from friends and family. the guy had some beef to chew with his superiors but since he got the axe, tough luck. Plus, if you compare this situation with a similar hostage taking in Tondo:

1.) They were both armed but how come in this case when the hostage-taker requests for people like from media or from government, the police don't allow any sort of intervention. In the tondo hostage-taking event, the police even allowed a senator and a mayor to negotiate with the hostage taker.

2.) The police showed no remorse in dragging the hostage-takers family despite their unwillngness to go with the police.

3.) The police kept such a tight cordon and control on the people around the scene while the hostage-taker was still alive but as soon as the guy was dead, they let all the tom, dicks and harrys and juliets to swarm the scene and taking away any hope of preserving any vital evidence.

So you tell me, why has the police in so many other instances been willing to talk first and then because the hostage taker was one of their own that they all of a sudden just come in with guns blazing....Rub-out, plain and simple.

glen0124 said...

the video link was shared quite a number of times by my FB friends^

Anonymous said...

After 22 years as a hostage rescue team member that film will be used for years on what not to do! The real reason is it was bad was political..Mayor LIM wanted his ( untrained guys) to do the job not the correct guys..In the Philippines PNP mean ( People Not Polite" ) a bunch of idiots. My little brown children.