Press Release
August 26, 2010


SENATOR Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. was irked by Chief Superintendent Rodolfo Magtibay's refusal to give a straightforward answer and his reluctance to divulge the truth regarding the handling of the recent hostage crisis that resulted to the killing of eight Chinese nationals.

"During the joint hearing of the Committees on Public Order and Safety and Illegal Drugs, and Justice and Human Rights, Magtibay maintained that he was the Ground Commander for the hostage crisis, yet admitted that he took orders from others on crucial matters," the senator pointed out.

Bong Revilla was puzzled why Magtibay could not answer him directly on who ordered the arrest, and the manner of arrest, of SPO2 Gregorio Mendoza, brother of hostage-taker Police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza.

"I had to reiterate the question three times before he gave a straight answer," he said, adding that "I just asked the question on everyone's mind, and I was puzzled by his evasiveness in answering the simple question." "It was only after the third time that he hesitantly pointed to Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim," said Revilla.

The Senator expressed dismay over why Magtibay was seemingly trying to hide the answer, that Revilla said, would only cast aspersion on the propriety of the order. The Senator surmised that it was probably because of how the order was carried out and its effects on the situation.

"Kung ikaw ang ground commander, bakit may ibang nag-uutos kung totoo ang sinasabi mo? Hindi mo ba inisip kung tama o mali, o ang magiging epekto nito? (If what you are saying is true, and you were the ground commander, why where there others giving orders? Did you not even stop to think whether it was right or wrong, or the effects it could have?)," Revilla scolded Magtibay.

In expressing his disappointment on the mishandling the hostage crisis, the lawmaker stressed that Magtibay fell short on judgment when he drastically imposed the arrest of Gregorio. "Pwede naman siyang isinama muna sa loob ng opisina, o sa isang tabi para dun bantayan, kaysa 'yung ganun (You could have just brought him into a room or office, or someplace where he could not have meddled, instead of what you did)," Revilla admonished.

Meanwhile, Bong Revilla said the failed rescue of the hostage victims showed the police force's incapability - in terms of training and equipment - in handling the crisis situation. "We must ensure that this kind of mess-up will not happen again in the future. There is an urgent need to upgrade the capabilities of our police force by means of advance training and modernizing equipment."

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