The travel advisory issued by the Hongkong government is, at best, a blunder. It was a knee-jerk reaction, more of a political statement than a factual and unbiased assessment of the incident and its effects to their citizens.
And I really don't blame the Hongkong government for issuing such a black warning travel advisory. It could have been avoided if the Philippine government managed to communicate with their counterpart in Hongkong during the hostage crisis.
Tourism secretary Bertie Lim correctly said that the advisory was more of a political statement than anything else. And you know what prompted the Hongkong government to do just that?
Because Philippine president Noynoy Aquino or his Cabinet members failed to answer the call of Hongkong chief executive Donald Tsang.
Tsang wanted to get an assurance from us, but did not get it because our President was doing something else. The first impulse should have been the President calling Tsang and assuring him that everything is under control.
Instead of us calling Tsang, Tsang was calling us. And why is that?
Because this government treated this hostage taking incident as a local affair, despite the involvement of several tourists as hostages.
That is a major blunder. This I believe is unforgiveable. It showed government's lack of appreciation and foresight.
Press secretary Ricky Carandang's response was utterly stupid. He told the media today that Noynoy gave Tsang a call shortly after the incident was contained---when tourists were already dead and the police already blundered the entire thing.
How will you defend yourself then against fellow Asians calling us stupid when the very government is, itself, stupid?
Look at how Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo answered Ted Failon this morning. Robredo was clueless and did not know all the facts of the hostage taking when he claims to have been there and managing the situation. Robredo did not even know the names of the police authorities managing the scene.