OpinionsEcon 101A perfect storm

A perfect storm

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The Incident Investigation Committee (IIRC) has submitted the report and recommendations on the Aug. 23 hostage crisis.

It has caused a whirl of protests, with tempest rising, like a perfect storm, as it has named and cited 13 persons, government officials, private individuals and three media networks, for sanctions.

Justice Sec. Leila De Lima, in her no-nonsense persona, defended their findings but, defers the final action, to the Office of the President. The committee members worked hard and made their evaluation, to the best of their ability.

It is understandable that the persons named would react to the findings, but, there has to be pinpointing of liability, after review of the critical points. Foremost of which is the death of the victims – eight innocent Hongkong and Canadian tourists.

The findings established that it was the hostage taker who killed the victims, and he died during the same incident.

Why is it that all the government officials, private persons and media networks, were found either, administratively negligent or reckless, and/or they violated ethical standards? Most of those who watched the live television coverage would agree that the key critical points were visible even to the layman. To disregard these critical points of responsibility and omissions of key persons, would compound the already damaged image of our country’s justice system. The report have to state what they found, as they found it. Otherwise, the report would not be credible, and will compound the “wrong mistake” that happened.

It is important to remember that the victims have the right to seek legal remedies for the wrongful death of their loved ones. These tourists came for a vacation, spending dollars in our country, and they did not deserve their violent end. If the situation were reversed, most Filipinos would agree that we would demand, no less.

It is still too early to conclude that there will be charges filed against all those persons named. The report identified the point of participation and the resultant effect for their participation, in relation to the tragic outcome.

No one could have wished for such a violent end, and with no exception, none of the persons named, deliberately caused the unjustifiable acts of the hostage taker.

Yes, Mayor Alfredo Lim of Manila has every reason to be angry and emotional — he was a former decorated police officer. He laments the condemnation of the police, who were ready to lay down their lives for the hostages, but, that is not the issue.

The issue is: “whether or not the persons named by acts or omissions, any fault or negligence, unwittingly aggravated or contributed to the violent outcome?

The critical points and persons involved have been identified, making the report, a fitting closure to the bleakest hostage incident of our nation’s history. Now, let us give P-Noy the time to review and act on the report. Abangan!

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