Counting Potatoes

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The Senate is at it again... 'Investigating' yet another scandal that rocked the nation recently.. the surprise here is IF this circus actually goes somewhere.. remember the ZTE scandal investigation? How bout the fertilizer scam investigation? Or the Hello Garci scandal investigation? I remember all the posturing, the righteous anger and the memorable lines... Funny... but for some reason, I cant seem to remember how it all ended.. or even if they actually did something in the end to punish those responsible.. or if they actually found the persons responsible for the scam... O_o which is weird... its like watching American Idol for weeks and the show suddenly stops before the grand final...

In my previous post, i wrote that heads should roll and that those responsible for the bloody fiasco should be weeded out.. The senate investigation however is just plain ridiculous! O_o its like watching a bad movie with several characters vying for the top spot with each senator having his/her own director and script writer.. Do they even want to solve the problem??! Or are they just capitalizing on the scandal for their own political gain??!

Because in a Nutshell.. Here's how I see the problem... We fucked up big time in front of the world particularly Hongkong.. Several people died needlessly and so others are clamoring for justice and reforms..

Anything beyond this is plain politics, mudslinging and emotions running hot..

That said..

1. What the Fuck is the Sense in Asking for our President's resignation?? O_o his ass has barely warmed up his comfy presidential seat for God's sake! And no, Im not even pro noynoy [see my election posts].. And yeah.. He does have an irritating smile.. But resolving a hostage crisis isnt his job for God's sake! Running the country is!

2. Similarly.. What's the sense in asking the presidential spokesperson to resign too??! read his title again.. Presidential... spokesperson.. He speaks for the president! i dont see anything about handling a hostage crisis in his job description??? O_o

oh look.. The house is on fire! Fire the fucking gardener for God's sake! There.. Problem solved!

3. Same goes regarding the DILG secretary.. Why oh why is the senate grilling him like he's supposed to act like fucking Rambo or Bruce Willis or something??

Why didnt you think of the TV inside bus? Why didnt you think about crowd/media control? Why werent you there talking to the hostage taker??

Well senators... That's because he's not a fucking negotiator or a tactical assault commander You Idiots! We have experts trained and being paid to do those tasks! And a senator who expects a DILG secretary to second guess the supposed experts on the ground is plain fucking stupid and doesn't deserve his or her senatorial seat. Senators should know better!

Do they even know what the job description of a DILG secretary is??? As far as the constitution goes, the DILG is in charge of training and equipping the police, supervising fire, prison, public safety and local government unit functions as well as help in the legislation of peace and security matters . These are administrative matters! [and its a pretty long list that doesnt include hostage negotiations or ground command during a hostage crisis... what a surprise].. Or do you guys expect the DILG chief to be there meddling with the experts for every fire and prison outbreak too?? O_o

Tactical command of a hostage situation isnt and shouldnt be a part of a DILG secretary's job! As it should be.. would you rather have a politician bargaining for your life or a skilled hostage negotiator? Would you rather have a politician directing ground forces or someone who actually trained for assaults? See.. Pretty senseless to be asking the DILG sec those tactical questions now right?

The question for the DILG secretary should be.. Why wasnt our police force prepared to handle this kind of situation? Why wasnt the proper equipment available? What happened to the training budget? These are the things that a DILG secretary is actually responsible for remember??!

In that case, would you rather ask that question to the DILG Secretary who has been in office for 2 months (barely) or the DILG Secretary who has just completed more than 6 years sitting in the DILG Secretary's chair and spending its budget? Ex-secretary Puno, please take the stand!

Take out the politics, take out the posturing and machismo bullshit and here are the pertinent questions that should be asked and answered...

On a Tactical Standpoint:

1. Who was in charge of negotiating with the hostage taker? Why did he lose control of the situation?

2. Who was in charge of planning and coordinating the ground assault? Why was it executed so poorly?

3. Who was in charge of the equipment used for the assault? The negotiations lasted for more than 10 hours. Any equipment in any part of the Philippines could be airlifted to Manila in less than an hour.. So where the fuck were the night vision goggles, frame explosives, bulletproof vests, gasmasks, etc???

I know we're a poor country but we're not that poor! O_o

4. Who was the one in charge of crowd and media control? Why did he allow the crowd and the media to run amok??

5. Who the fuck ordered the arrest of the hostage taker's brother - the event which destabilized the whole situation?

6. Who was the overall ground commander at the scene? Why didnt he delegate crowd and media control and equipment procurement??

On an Administrative Standpoint:

1. Why didnt we have a trained SWAT team for this kind of situation?

2. Why oh why is the Standard Operating Procedure for this kind of situation so fucked up?

3. Where did all the equipment needed to do the job right go??

4. What do we need to do to ensure this mess doesnt happen again?

5. How can we be assured that steps are being taken to remedy this situation??

Find the answers to these questions and we'll be more than halfway in solving the problem!

Which brings me back to my point.. Where did we fuck up??

First and foremost, its commendable that the ground commander has said that he takes full responsibility for the fiasco as he should.. More than anything else, the result of the hostage crisis was a tactical failure where the ground commander and the negotiator had full control of..

Considering that the president, the press secretary, the DILG secretary and the PNP chief have just taken over their posts.. Could we really blame them? Fair is fair, walk in their shoes for a mile and see if anyone could've done any differently.. If this happened 2 years from now then its an entirely different story.

Fact is, unless you're gifted with second sight, how will you know that you need to address the country's capability to respond to a hostage situation on top of the gazillion other fuck ups that the present administration has inherited?

and on hindsight.. Can we really expect those guys who stormed the bus to do any better given that they're just a product of a corrupt system where the necessary funds more often than not ends up in the pockets of corrupt politicians??

Politicians that we ourselves voted to office.. because they had the right name.. because they sounded right on television.. Because we just didnt think about our decisions hard enough..

The blame trickles down.. and shameful as it is to admit as we have all been initially blinded by emotions.. Some of it ends up on the front door of each end everyone of us..

Yes, we deserve better.. but to achieve this, WE need to BE BETTER.. better voters.. Better citizens.. Better guardians of our democracy..

Let the buck stop here.. Let us all take stock of our shortcomings as citizens of this country and ask ourselves.. Did we really deserve better on that particular situation?

More importantly...

What can we do to deserve better in the future?

... And oh yeah.. Let's nail every corrupt politician we find to the cross.. Corruption kills and they should pay the full price for their actions..

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Mary Darich said...

I agree with all the things that you stated n this blog entry of yours.