Press Release
August 26, 2010


In light of the hostage-taking incident in Manila that claimed the lives of eight Hong Kong nationals, Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for a review of the Philippine National Police's procedures for handling a hostage crisis, and urged government to invest in the training of police personnel and modernizing their equipment.

"The incident was a gruesome display of how unprepared our policemen are in dealing with a crisis. There was a lack of coordination and no crowd control. No one seemed to be on top of the situation. I think everyone would agree that the situation could have been handled better," he said.

"But beyond putting blame, we need to study why things went wrong and how we can remedy the situation. A lot of it has to do with the PNP's lack of training and capacity. Now is a good time to take steps to revamp PNP," he added.

He added, "Media should know its place. They should follow procedures and not aggravate the situation under the guise of press freedom. I ask our practitioners to uphold media responsibility."

Angara said that security is a major deterrent for tourists to visit the country, as they are usually prey to petty criminals, and just recently the target of a hostage taker.

"Government must be more active in renewing tourist confidence. The protection of tourists is crucial if we want to boost local tourism. The Philippines has limitless potential for tourism owing to our country's natural beauty. It would be such a waste if we can't attract tourists because our security is weak," he said.

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