Who is to blame?
Pointing fingers to blame others is an ancient scenario. In the Book of Genesis, Adam blamed Eve for giving him the fruit of the knowledge of good and bad, that some believers in Christ called it apple. It is not an apple, because if it is, then, we who are fond of eating the said fruit made us sinners every time we ate it.
It was the desire of Eve to become like gods that she obeyed Satan the Devil, who through a serpent deceived her to eat. When the true God asked Adam why he ate the fruit, Adam pointed his finger to Eve, who in turn pointed to the serpent.
That situation is repeated a million times throughout the earth by people who could not accept responsibility in an omission. The same situation on the recent hostage drama that Police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza and eight of his hostages perished. The police points to the media practitioners as the cause of the shooting of the hostages, on the other hand, the field reporters blame the lack of training of the members of the Philippine National Police to handle the situation.
Onlookers said it was a little request that could easily be decided by the principal negotiator. And the other demand that finally triggered Mendoza to go out of his mind was the rescuing policemen arresting his younger brother. Anyone who was in the situation of Mendoza may do the same. Seeing his innocent younger brother being carried away like a hog is very demeaning. A simple order of a police officer for his younger brother to keep out of sight I believe would be obeyed without resulting to placing under body control.
Viewing the television camera’s footage did not manifest carrying a weapon by the younger brother of the beleaguered inspector. He was there with the intent to pacify or calm down his older brother. It is a pity that his comrade-in-arms treated him as an enemy.
Different persons have different character. Way back in year 1952, a soldier was about to throw a hand grenade at Cosmos Restaurant in Los Baños, Laguna. I was inside the restaurant when I heard someone informed me of the situation. I hurriedly went out and when I saw the soldier holding the grenade I jumped and grappled him. Luckily, I was able to grasp his hand with the grenade with its safety pin still intact. My older brother, an ex-soldier of the Philippine Scout, merely watches me while trying my best to grab the grenade, which I was able to do. I was with Manila ROTC Units at that time, a military man serving as assistant instructor of the Department of Military Science and Tactics at National University under Colonel Jose Hidalgo.
It is our family’s credo not to intervene in a fight unless someone supported the opponent. Another incident was when I was a criminal investigator in Los Baños, Laguna Police Department in year 1956. A man named Barbaro whom I requested to go home because of drunkenness creating scandal at the thickly populated Crossing in Brgy. San Antonio. The man went home but returned with a five-inch dagger tucked to his left-front waist. He tried to threaten me with the sight of the dagger; however, in a twinkling of an eye I grabbed with my right hand the dagger and placed it to my left hand. Simultaneously I drew the .38 caliber revolver and gave a warning shot while my left hand with the dagger extended towards him. I asked him to grab the dagger, but he did nothing. So, Patrolman Aquilino Mulinyawe approached us and I ordered him to bring the man to the municipal building where the police department was located.
It was only after Chief of Police Fernando S. Silva informed me that my older brother happened to pass by and saw me pulled my revolver and giving warning shot that he hurriedly went after me. He said he asked my brother why he did not pacify me. The answer: “It is his duty, not mine, but it is yours being the chief of police.”
The death of Inspector Mendoza and the eight hostages could have not happened had the younger brother left the matters in the hands of the negotiators. He may have a good intention, but, being a policeman, too, he should know better what to do in like circumstances. We may have different characters but being a member of the law enforcement should know that blood relation should not interfere in others assigned duty.
It hurts to see a brother under duress, but his presence in such situation surely will aggravate, thus the end of the life of his older brother. That incident must be a lesson to the Philippine National Police high officers to keep away blood brothers in the same unit. They should separated not only by unit, but geographically assigned in a distant places from one another.(Email email@example.com)
By: Fidel D. Banzon
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