The Hong Thai Travel tour bus containing 25 tourists was followed by gunman Rolando asking for a free ride. Naturally, the driver barred the gunman from entering but was handcuffed and the bus; hijacked. The 10 hour-siege where Mendoza and eight hostages reached their death were captured live on television.
The hostage drama led the Philippines to consequent crises and a bundle of negative opinions. Tourism security issues were questioned. Hong Kong issued a top-black travel alert for the Philippines while France advised its people to be vigilant while on stay in the country. The government’s effectiveness, moreover, was criticized. President Benigno Aquino and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim were immediately put on hot seat.
Not including other nationalities, Filipinos themselves expressed their disappointment over the government and the SWAT. Comments and articles are posted throughout the Web deliberately mocking the President and the members of SWAT. Pictures of students and the police taking pictures with the hijacked bus as background are quickly spreading. There were games, moreover, that were made immediately after the hostage. These games make the player ‘shoot the disgruntled police who hijacked a tour bus.’
As for me, I’m more worried about the Filipino Hope. For Filipinos, this could have been a year of change. This could have been the start of improvement and progress. Such circumstances should not be happening, but if written, this should have occurred a few years later or earlier. Not now, when all hopes are high. Not now, when everyone’s willing to make that change. Just….not now.