Another Perspective regarding the tragedy in Minila

The uncovered truth of the 823 tragedy in the Philippines

— It’s all about Money.

Before reading further, or you are too tired to read my long article, here are the 3 things I wish any visitors would keep in mind:

  • Don’t be fooled by the filipino authorities and media. The hostage taker wants MONEY, but not the reinstatement of his job. Mr. Mendoza will leave all hostages alone (and alive), heading south, and never return to Manila, if he received a suitcase filled with 1 Million Peso cash notes.
  • Be mature, be wise. Admit that the Filipino authorities have NEVER think of keeping all hostages alive. There’s NO GUARANTEE at all from the very beginning!!!! They won’t pay a single dollar to exchange the lives of the hostages. This is not reported because the Filipino authorities hide it IN PURPOSE!!!
  • How many hostages were killed by the gunman, and how many were killed by the polices force? May god tell us the truth eventually.If you know me well, you would know that I don’t like to speak. I mean I am talkative enough in front of real friends, but I hate to speak in front of public and strangers, no matter what happened and how struggling I was when some big events happened. But for this time, allow me to express my thoughts and feelings from very deep inner place of my heart. As a person with strong relationship to the Philippines, who have spent a few years childhood age in the country, I have something to say.
  • Firstly, I have to emphasize that, all the kidnappings happened in the Philippines, no matter the hostage takers are from well-organized anti-government guerilla, to your own private driver, it’s the same. It’s all about a simple single word – MONEY. Believe me or not, being living in the “Capitol of Kidnapping” for years, all the kidnapping cases I’ve encountered, no matter in what situation, with what kind of background stories, that I have ever, ever heard about, is eventually asking for MONEY. However, I have to add that, although some of my family members were killed in kidnappings in the 1980s age, it would be fair enough to say, the situation is much better now despite there are still around over 100 cases/year in average, and unfortunately, most of the target hostages are Chinese people.

    I am sorry to tell but the truth is, filipinos have already get used to this kind of kidnapping incidents. They also get used to the fact that hostages are commonly Chinese. So my friends, don’t ask me any more questions like “why the filipino authorities/polices react so slow/stupid/act so dangerously”………etc. Well, the answer is that they simply DON’T CARE about the lives inside the bus. PERIOD. It is just like how Hong Kong people get used to street demonstrations, filipinos get used to kidnappings. This can be proved by the irritating laughter you’ve heard during the live broadcast of the incident, and the disdain face of the new President of the Philippines, Aquino III when he had his site visit last night. I am not trying to trigger any racial hatred or whatever similar, I am just trying to tell the truth based on my understanding to this country

    But I am sorry to say, you are too pure if you expect the filipino government or polices to react on this kind of situation as serious as that it is happening in Hong Kong or any other developed places. So, to be fair, I have to further emphasize that there is no real hatred on Chinese in the filipino world, the Philippines is not like Indonesia (link). Most of the Chinese lives there peacefully with the filipino people, although the former is dominating the country’s economy. The Chinese community is already a indispensable part of the country. Perhaps, it is something more complicated than simple hatred. In a very little portion of filipino’s heart, I would say, jealousy exists. However, i would assume that this is a normal phenomenon in the rest of the world, where poorer people will sometimes jealous richer people.

    So, back on the incident, my very personal conclusion is, this hostage taker is simply asking for MONEY but not really the reinstatement of his job. I could not even reason it with my brain, so could you? Even he is the most stupid person in the world, would he ask for a reinstatement of a police position by an absolutely illegal kidnapping exercise???? NO!. Could you reason it? I think none of you could. It just simply doesn’t make any sense.

    The hostage taker was already 55, what he was looking for should be a retirement plan, but not a police job. Well, simple, in my opinion, his background, underlying stories, are all just a beautiful decal of his ugly, selfish kidnapping action. There MUST be MONEY TERMS involved during the negotiation between him and the Filipino authorities. OK, I have NO evidence.

    DON’T ever ask me to provide any evidence to prove this is true. “Here is not a court. We don’t need any evidence here.”, quoted from a popular dialog of Miss Louise Lee Si-Kei(李司棋), a famous HK actress. If you’ve got pissed off by my words, send me an email, show me some evidences to prove my words are wrong instead. Ask the filipino government and see how they reply on it. Ask them, “Is there any money terms involved in negotiation process?”, and see how they would answer.

    Up to now, at 6:40pm of the 24th August of the year 2010, there is no any report or any single piece of word regarding the detailed negotiation process among the authorities and the hostage taker, and you shouldn’t expect any true one will come out unless another miracle is made by god. The government had never told, and will never tell the truth to the media that the guy was actually asking for money and they refused him just because they want to save their pocket and reputation. The authority also desire a beautiful step to get off the stage. According to a survived hostage, Mrs. Leung, who lost her husband and two children in the tragedy, keep asking that why the filipino government are not “paying money” to the hostage taker in various media interviews right after the incident. She was sitting in the fore part of the bus where the gunman usually stay, and perhaps she could hear some negotiation details (maybe some English words, such as “Money”, was included in the gunman’s tagalog phone conversations).

    It is useless to say anything at this moment. So why am I speaking? Well, I want the victims, their families and the HK public to get a chance to study another possible side of the coin. The information provided by the media may not be 100% reflecting the reality. There are still many underlying myths, especially in the details of the entire negotiation process that hasn’t been uncovered. I am also extremely angry about that the president of this country is shirking his responsibility in such a non-sense, compassionless, violent, arrogant way, in his so-called press conference. However, no matter how he avoid, he cannot shirk the responsibility o f the country’s prolonged poverty and corruption problem.

    As an ordinary Hong Kong people, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the victims’ families. I sit by the TV during the entire kidnapping process, from day to night. I felt I was so weak that I couldn’t do anything to save my own people’s innocent lives, although it wouldn’t be really difficult. I am also sorry for my poor English as I have no energy to type all these in Chinese. Another reason I am using english is that I hope this article can alert the rest of the world, especially the media to change their focus point on this tragedy, something more should be UNCOVERED!!!

    So, all in all, what could probably give a chance to those 8 innocent people to get survive? What would I do if I were the person in charge? Simple. Put 1 million Peso cash notes, a compass and a map into the lunch boxes and send it to Mr. Mendoza, then move a car to the entrance of the bus with the door opened and a replacement hostage inside (to let him feel safe along his escaping route). You will see him driving, with a satisfaction face, heading south, rushing towards the most poorly ruled region of the country. Unfortunately, reality are always cruel. My assumption will never be happened. I couldn’t sleep last night. So could you?

    Author: Billy Chan, a Filipino Chinese who grows up in HK.

    看這之前,如果你討厭長篇大論,我只有三點要遊客們緊記:

    別被菲律賓當局瞞騙,槍手只想要錢,並非甚麼復識。門多薩先生收到載著一百萬披索的行李箱後,便會釋放所有人,朝南駛走,永遠不歸來馬尼拉。 ……請冷靜承認當局沒有保證人質安全。打從一開始就沒有保證過!他們不會為了人質性命而拔一毛。這沒有報道,因為當局刻意隱瞞了! 有多少人質被槍手殺死?有多少人質被警察打死?願主終有一天告知我們真相。

    認識我的人都知道,我討厭說話。在朋友面前我無所不談,但我討厭應付公眾和陌生人,不論遇上多大事情或多麼想要說。但這一回,請容許我抒發我打從心底裏的一席話。作為一個與菲律賓根深柢固,童年時代在菲律賓渡過的人,我有話要說。

    首先我必須強調,任何菲律賓的綁架,不論作案的是反政府游擊隊抑或你的私人司機,這都沒差,只關乎一個字──錢。請相信我,居住「綁架之都」多年,我見過的大小綁架,不論情況與背景,最終只會聯繫到要錢。但我亦必須說,雖然我有家人在八十年代曾被綁架,公平地說,現在的情況已比當年好多了,儘管每年仍有過百宗綁架,亦很不幸的,目標多是華人。

    非常遺憾,實情是菲律賓當局早已對此類綁架事件司空見慣。他們亦知道人質多半是華人。所以諸君別再問「為何菲律賓當局反應如此緩慢/愚蠢/危險」……等等。理由十分簡單,他們毫不在意巴士上的人質性命。正如香港人對遊行習以為常,菲律賓人對綁架亦習以為常。直播時的笑聲,以及新總統阿基諾三世巡視時的輕佻態度,都能證明這點。我並非要煽動種族仇恨,我只是基於我對此國家的認識,道出真相。另一點遺憾的是,假若你期待菲律賓當局會如發達國家般認真對待事件,那你真是太天真了。我亦要公平指出,菲律賓人從不像印尼人般憎恨華人。雖然華人控制了菲律賓經濟,絕大部分當地人都能與華人和平共處。華人社區早已是菲律賓不可分割的一部分。或許,這並非單純的憎恨。少許菲律賓人也許會對華人,以我來說,嫉妒。不過這恐怕是全世界的通行現像:窮人憎恨富人。

    菲律賓「狙擊手」不理會巴士前方可能有人質就開火。所以傳媒聲稱至少三人被警方打死,一點也不出奇。

    回歸正題,我的個人觀感是:槍手只想要錢,不是復職。我不能理解,你也一樣吧?天底下最蠢的人都知道,有誰會讓一個綁架罪犯復職?當然沒有!你如何想?我相信你也一樣,因為這完全不可理喻。

    槍手要求的大概不是復職,而是他的退休金。我認為他的淒美故事不過是要掩飾他的醜惡行為。跟當局談判時,肯定有錢銀上的條款來往。好,我沒有證據,別要求我證明我的話是真的,「這不是法庭,沒人跟你談證據。」這是李司琪說的。如你對我的潑婦罵街有所不滿,歡迎來信,換你出示證據證明我的推理是錯的。你亦可直接詢問菲律賓當局,看他們如何反應。直接問:「談判期間有沒有談錢?」看他們怎樣回覆。

    直至現在,八月廿四日晚上六時四十分,沒有片言隻字的報告跟談判過程有關。你可以死心,永遠不會有相關報告出現,除非有神跡。政府沒有告訴過,亦永遠不會告訴傳媒:槍手只想要錢,不過當局拒絕了,為了荷包與面子。當局亦需要當皇的下台階。失去了丈夫與兩名女兒的梁太,獲救後不停哭訴當局不肯付贖金。她在巴士前方,距離槍手不遠,故極有可能聽到一些談判對話(舉例說,槍手談判期間,可能多次以英文強調「錢」這個字)。

    現在再多說也無補於事。為何我仍要說?我只希望受害者,家屬以及香港公眾,能以另一角度分析事件。傳媒報道未必百分百反映事實。仍有無數疑團未解開,尤其是被刻意隱瞞的談判過程。我亦對總統以不可理喻,冷淡,粗暴以及自大的態度,在那所謂的記者招待會上卸責感到無比憤怒。他無論如何卸責,也不可能忽視自己國家的貪污腐敗。

    作為香港人,我對事件的死難者致以最深切的慰問。我坐在電視機前,日以繼夜看畢整個事件。我深感沒力拯救人質的自己是多麼的軟弱,雖然我明知那是不可能。請容忍我的差勁英文,因為我沒有精力以中文打出這篇文章。另一以英文寫這的原因是,我希望全世界的人都看懂這文章,尤其是傳媒,將集中點從悲劇轉移到被掩蓋的真相!

    總括來說,甚麼能讓這八名死者有生存的機會?換了是我,我會如何?簡單,將一百萬,地圖與指南針放進門多薩先生的飯盒裏,接著駛一台車子都巴士旁,打門車門,裏面有一名交換人質,讓槍手感到逃生路線安全。然後你就會見到他滿臉笑容駕著車子朝國家最貧困的南面走。不幸現實總是殘酷的。我的假設沒有機會證明。昨夜我失眠了,你呢?

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