Emotions are still running high after the botched hostage rescue attempt in Manila that involved the death of 8 Hong Kong nationals. In yet another sign of insensitivity to the grieving families, Mayor Alfredo Lim declared the Manila police as "heroes." This statement comes after denying that he had ordered the arrest of Rolando Mendoza's brother Senior Police Officer Gregorio Mendoza. The arrest allegedly infuriated the hostage-taker and drove him into a killing spree. Lim contradicted Congressional testimony offered by Chief Superintendent Rodolfo Magtibay. To date, no one is claiming responsibility for ordering the arrest.
Of course the police did their best under the circumstances. There is no denying the fact, however, that the police exercise was botched. The world witnessed it how our ill-prepared police officers ended the crisis with the death of eight tourists. I will not presume to know how the people of Hong Kong feel about the situation. I can imagine what it would feel like if we had been watching our countrymen die because poorly trained and poorly equipped police officers mounted a poorly executed rescue attempt.
Lim's responsibilities do include protecting the reputation of the police forces under his control. I doubt they include muddying the truth to make the police ranks feel better about themselves. Perhaps Lim should consider how the people of Hong Kong feel before pinning medals on the police.