It's amazing what's coming out of the mouths of the Philippines officials about the hostage situation. Everyone watched on live TV how every step taken in the rescue went wrong. And now, every attempt to defend the actions are backfiring.
Here are some things that Manila mayor, Alfredo Lim, has said according to today's article in South China Morning Post.
Regarding the opportunity for snipers to take down the gunman in the afternoon:
"I think that was a mistake, the failure to take that opportunity [to shoot], but at that time he was already releasing some of the hostages and no harm was being done to them."
He said earlier that as a general rule, a hostage-taker was not shot if he was not hurting the hostages. "But there is also a rule that if a clear shot could be given ... and no one else would be hurt, the negotiator has to take advantage of that opportunity."How idiotic is that "general rule"? Isn't it too late already if he was hurting the hostages? Do they have to wait until it's too late before taking action? Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened.
Lim also denied that he ordered the arrest of Mendoza's brother, Gregorio, the event that spurred the gunman into his killing spree. "I said to handcuff him, not to arrest him," he saidAlright, Lim didn't order the arrest of Gregorio which spurred the gunman into his killing spree. Lim ordered the handcuffing of Gregorio which spurred the gunman into his killing spree. What a relief now that that's cleared up.
He (Lim) also insisted that as chairman of the city's crisis management committee, he was just a consultant to the rescue operation, which was led entirely by city police chief Rodolfo Magtibay.Wow. Way to avoid responsibility and throw your police chief under the bus.
Lim also rejected suggestions that he ordered the operation be conducted by the Manila police SWAT team while 20 highly trained commandos from the Philippines' elite police units stood idle nearby. "I never said don't use the Special Action Force ... what crazy person would say that when the SAF is fully equipped," he said, without explaining why the force was not deployed.If he was aware that this Special Action Force was ready to be deployed, then he has the responsibility to order them to be deployed. Not doing so represents failure on his part.
At that time, about 6.45pm, he had decided to leave and told Magtibay that "this will probably take you until early morning to resolve. Have patience, wait for him to tire and maybe he will release the hostages".This is just ridiculous. The time was 6:45pm. The city is in the international spotlight because of a high-profile hostage situation. The mayor decided to leave? What event did he have to attend that's more urgent? Also, his strategy is to "wait for him to tire" and hope that "maybe he will release the hostages"? How is this guy still in office?