Manila Hostage Incident-"Wrong targets for understandable anger"
Yesterday I came across South China Morning Post's editorial/opinion article "Wrong targets for our understandable anger" and I felt very relieved and comforted reading it. As a Filipino citizen working here in Hong Kong the said article has hit my sentiments and feelings towards the recent tragic Manila hostage incident right to the bat. It has pointed out how feelings of resentment, while understandable, should be directed towards the persons that have responsibility over the situation. The article ended up with a very touching line, that Filipinos "are as much innocent bystanders to the tragedy as we are and deserve to be treated as such".
It's true- we Filipinos grieve together with the Hong Kong people, we are also upset with how the situation was handled, and moreover, we are ashamed and humiliated about the outcome of the hostage incident.
Last Tuesday morning on my way to work, I saw almost everyone on the metro reading about the hostage incident. I felt like hiding or putting a bag on top of my face, literally. Not that I was getting glances from everyone but it just felt so shameful coming from a country with a government and police force that has handled the hostage situation in a very, very disappointing way.
We Filipinos already came from a third-world country with a bad economy, that's why we needed to fly elsewhere to get a job. We are poor and most of us here in Hong Kong are working as helpers. This recent hostage incident has humiliated us Filipinos so much more than any of you can ever imagine. We understand the feelings of resentment the Hong Kong people might have towards our government and the police force, and up to some extent, the recent travel warning ban issued to the Philippines by the Hong Kong government.
It is a big lesson for my country and hopefully after this loss the nation (and our President) have learned and will do its best to strive for a serious improvement in handling national crisis, police force (and SWAT) training, and countering terrorism.
I hope that the people of Hong Kong will continue feeling rational over the incident-- that it was not us, ordinary Filipino workers and ordinary Filipino citizens, but our government and police force who are responsible over the tragic incident. We're all united in grief towards this tragedy.
If I have one wish at this point, I would wish that the South China Morning Post editorial "Wrong targets for our understandable anger" be republished in those free newspapers in Hong Kong and China, and also be translated in Chinese.
But I guess this means stretching out my luck way too much.