There Are Days And There Are Nights

Palace: President cannot remain 'worried' over hostage incident


Malacañang said President Benigno Simeon Aquino III remains "concerned" over the hostage crisis in Manila last week but can no longer afford to remain worried about the consequences of the incident.

Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma said while Aquino is still concerned about the hostage incident, he also has to focus on the other problems facing the nation.

“Di pwede sa worrying mode palagi ang isang leader, kailangan nakatutok ang attention sa darating sa kinabukasan. Kailangan naka-focus sa paghanap ng solution, di magiging productive kung palaging worried," Coloma said in an interview on dzXL radio.

(A leader cannot remain in worrying mode indefinitely. He must keep his attention on other problems. He must focus on finding solutions to these problems. Worrying will mess up his productivity.)

On August 23, a dismissed senior police inspector, Rolando Mendoza, hijacked a bus in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Manila and held hostage 21 Hong Kong tourists and four Filipinos. After an 11-hour standoff, Mendoza and eight Hong Kong tourists were killed.

“Siguro ang tamang salita ay concerned sapagka’t dapat naman ay yung ganung concern dahil seryoso ang kaganapang nangyari. Pero I don’t think tama ang salitang worried. Ito ay bahagi ng hamon na kinakaharap," he said.

(Perhaps the right word to describe Aquino is concerned. He remains concerned over such a serious situation. But I don’t think it is right to say he remains worried because such things are part of the challenges he faces as a leader.)

Coloma said the Aquino government has already taken steps to heal the wounds between the Philippines and Hong Kong after last week's hostage crisis.

“Ang importante dito ang maging makatwiran at makatarungan ang mga aksyon ng pangulo, di dinadaan sa pabilisan lamang (What is important is that the president’s moves are proper and not necessarily rushed)," he said.

The world keeps on turning.