Enough is enough

The hostage drama that happened in Pili, Camarines Sur last week jolted many of us out the holiday spirit and smack dab with the dark reality of family feuds and crimes. For days, we reeled from the situation, perusing reports for more information that could help us understand the reasons why such an event could have occured. How could such a horrific event have taken place in this province, which prides itself with close family ties and religious devotion? How fissured have our families become as an institution that such a misunderstanding over finances could have led to such a gruesome end? More importantly, how could we prevent such a situation from occuring in more homes?

But while some of us chose to approach the incident from a more sociological standpoint, others resorted to finger-pointing. Their concern was who should be blamed, or possibly, who should lose their job after making wrong decisions about handling the incident. Everyone, from the Municipal Police Station, to the Provincial Police Station, to the local government unit, drew flak from all sides as news of the incident made national news. Some asserted that the police was remiss in not launching its assault outright, whereas others claimed that the protocol itself that the police followed was faulty.

Finger-pointing may be a common, natural response after a shocking situation when emotions are high, and many questions are left hanging. However, a week after the incident, is it still the correct response?

Although cliché, it is worth pointing out that no amount of blaming could bring back the lives lost, or heal the injuries of those who were wounded. Nonetheless, this does not mean that we are left without an option to improve on the situation. What would make the most sense now, is to review the situation and produce a recommendation that would help us handle similar incidents in the future. We must come to terms with the plain fact that our current preparation for handling such incidents is inadequate. Yet instead of focusing on this fact, we should go beyond it and assess the areas on which we can improve. These unfortunate incidents, after all, are opportune moments for us to see what we truly lack, and hopefully, find ways to make up for it.


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