MONDAY evening, unusually for me, I was glued to the idiot box watching the bus hostage drama and what struck me -- did it you? -- was that nobody seemed quite sure what to do.

I know, I'm sitting in a comfortable chair and not out in the teeming rain. I wasn't there, but this special ops squad moved up and that rapid action squad turned out and they went at the bus with bits of old rope, what looked like a length of coco-lumber and I swear, at the rear, there was one guy heaving rocks at the window glass. I screamed at the TV - "What ARE you doing?"

Post your reaction to the Manila hostage crisis

Finally, tear gas and a sniper's bullet ended the standoff and a vast crowd surged forward to get a better faceful of the blood and gore, some folks even jumping up at the windows for a closer look. Manila's finest obviously haven't heard of crowd control.

And what was a dismissed policeman doing walking around armed to the teeth?

Manic Manila anybody?

Stella's Sunday piece asked where our sense of right and wrong comes from.

We're not born with it. There's no decency genes. We learn right from wrong from the example set by our parents, our school, from society about us. We also learn the consequences of ignoring the rules -- the clip behind the ear, "You're grounded." or worse.

What's missing today? The consequences part of the equation. The knowledge of what is right or wrong is still there but who cares?

There's no discipline, no consequences.

Let's take litter as an example -- and I almost wrote 'innocuous example' but of course it isn't. Litter kills turtles, litter contributes towards flooding the city and litter breeds dengue mosquitoes. Up at the Buhangin high school I presume the students are asked not to throw down their cellophanes or drinking straws or peanut packets any old where but they do. Witness the trail of litter to and from. The example is there -- teachers lecturing about litter -- but the consequences are lacking.

Why doesn't the school field litter crews. The students chucks down the stuff why not oblige them to clean it up. Say once a week, each class in rotation, to go out with sacks and clean up the mess they've created. No whacking down the vegetation, just picking up the litter.

It'll never happen of course. Choosing the school's Mr. and Mrs Festival is much more urgent. And it would have to be after school hours - clashes with the four-o-clock habit. And it's dirty. Naw - let the local resident's clear up the kids litter.