Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Troops storm jail; 23 dead
By Edu Punay
The Philippine Star 03/16/2005

Loud explosions rocked a maximum security jail at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City yesterday morning, heralding the start of an assault on the facility by government troops to end a daylong standoff with Abu Sayyaf detainees.

When the smoke cleared, 22 prisoners lay dead, among them Abu Sayyaf leaders Alhamser Limbong, alias Kosovo; Ghalib Andang, alias Commander Robot; and Nadjmi Sabdula, alias Commander Global. The authorities gave no tally for the wounded prisoners.

Full story here.

The prison seige at Bicutan had a bloody end yesterday. It may sound callous of me, but I'm one of those people who are glad. The Abu Sayyaf prisoners who instigated the seige got what they deserved.

I personally think that the authorities made a tactical error in handling the situation. I could not, for the life of me, understand why they had to negotiate with these terrorists. They should have launched an assault immediately. The prisoners have already killed several jail wardens and still the authorities negotiated?! I thought the standing order was that the government doesn't negotiate with terrorists? What ever happened to that? These people were hardened criminals involved with executions, murder, kidnap for ransom, bombings and other terrorist attacks.

It took the authorities 27 hours to negotiate, but only less than 2 hours for the Special Action Forces to take over the building. What a waste of 27 hours. It would have been over last Monday had they taken over immediately. Sabi na nga ba, basta may pumasok nang politico sa usapan, lalong tumatagal.

It was embarrassing how the jail wardens got overpowered. It showed the vulnerability of our penal system. No wonder other countries have travel advisories against us. What a shame, coz the country is very beautiful, yet all the world hears about is how dangerous it is. Grrr.

Nevertheless, I am glad it's over. I just hope this NEVER happens again.

Yahoo! has decided to join the blogging bandwagon. They're launching Yahoo! 360 soon, in response to Microsoft's MSN Spaces and Google's Blogger. Hmmm.. I wonder if it's any good.