The 2010 Manila Hostage Crisis was a no-win situation.
The terrorist was a former senior inspector (equivalent rank of captain) from the Manila Police District. This is not someone ignorant of police procedures, strategy and tactics. The planning of this event was flawless because of his experience and training.
The following were the things I noticed:
1. Isolation of the bus from the garage. Advantage of viewpoints in all directions for the terrorist
2. Closed windows to block views.
3. Darkness is a vulnerable time against him.
4. Mobility is present.
The mistakes were as follows:
1. Full light upon the situation. Generally, to take a bus, it would be isolated in darkness with the military in night vision goggles. To differentiate between terrorist and hostage would be almost impossible.
2. Flashbang grenades would be used before entry. In this case, the windows would have to be penetrated and flashbang thrown into at least 4 sections.
3. Hostage mediation would have been continuous.
My intent is not to criticize the Philippine gov't. Simply put, the Philippines can ill affor an FBI like Hostage Rescue Team, when the military wants to have a coup d'etat every decade or so for the express purpose of some military leader becoming a senator.
My Pin@y brothers and sister have nothing to be ashamed for this unfortunate incident. It was the act of terrorism by a mad man just like any other act of terrorism by mad men.
In my opinion,
Rhett V. Pascual