Now that we’ve said our official apologies, it’s time to massage our frail national ego be the defensive, onion-skinned people that we are.
Or, at least, that seems to be what Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto wants. At a joint congressional hearing of the Senate committees on Public Order and Illegal Drugs, and Justice and Human Rights, Sotto fired the first shot in a battle to restore the high regard that we have for ourselves.
Yes, the Philippine National Police bungled the operation, and eight tourists died, he said, but
“let us not forget that many Filipinos have lost their lives saving hostages, foreign hostages. If I recall it right, when we saved the Burham couple [kidnapped in 2001, rescued in 2002 but the husband, Martin, died during the operation–OneTamad], there were more than 30 soldiers who died saving this couple who are foreigners.”
“We’ve said our piece. We’ve told the international community and China, the Chinese government and the Hongkong government how sad we are and how we wished it could not have happened. But I think we should not too worry too much about the international repercussion, because Bali, Indonesia has been bombed so many times by Indonesian terrorists but the tourists keep coming back. had they been blaming the Indonesians in their countries?” [Actually, tourism to Indonesia dipped by more than half a million visitors in 2003 after the 2002 Bali bombings–OneTamad]
Stay classy, Philippines.