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Hostage Fiasco a Huge and Painful Embarrassment for the Philippines

here are many Filipinos who are not surprised by Earlier during the crisis Capt. Mendoza releases a hostagethe tragic outcome of Monday's hostage crisis. They say that Philippine law enforcement officials are poorly trained, poorly equipped, and poorly supervised. Many Pinoys throughout the metropolis know that traffic cops are readily bribed, law enforcement operatives shakedown young or defenseless citizens, and jail personnel think nothing of mistreating individuals in their custody.

Given the above, it is not surprising that the internet is now abuzz with criticism of the way Philippine police authorities handled this hostage crisis. The people of Hong Kong are understandably up in arms for the trauma their compatriots went through, eight of whom were killed. With cameras rolling,SWAT team storm the tourist bus with tragic consequences the whole world was given a front-row seat to witness the almost comical—had the outcome not be so tragic—operations of the Philippine police authorities.

So here's what we believe should happen: The government should immediately place all police officials directly involved in the operation, on temporary suspension pending the outcome of a through investigation. And the suspensions should go up the chain of command to those police and government officials who exercised operational control over the situation. The Philippines has received a black-eye from this crisis—and deservedly so. How the government responds will determine how quickly the country will be rehabilitated in the eyes of the world. If this turns into a whitewash, if no lessons are learned, if incompetent police officials are kept in place, then the country will fall further behind the rest of the civilized world. And not just foreign tourists, but even former Filipinos and expatriates living abroad will refuse to set foot again in the country.

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