THE spokesperson of Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo defended the former President from critics who are putting the blame on the previous administration for the failure of the police in the bloody hostage crisis.

“We successfully managed hostage crises during our administration. Baka baligtad. The current administration ang nakalimot paano mag manage ng hostage crisis kasi puro sila pulitika. Di ba kasalanan namin lahat? Lagi silang tama. Lahat ng mali sa amin," Horn told Sun.Star referring to the Aquino government who earlier said that Arroyo is partly to blame for the hostage drama last Monday that killed eight tourists.

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The presidential chief communicator, Herminio Coloma, said in a television interview that the nine-year administration of Arroyo should have provided the Philippine National Police (PNP) enough equipment to handle such hostage situations before she stepped down from office.

“Did they provide enough funds for the modernization of the PNP or did it waste funds for cases like the euro-generals and other corruption cases?" Coloma asked.

He pointed out that the Aquino administration was only 55 days old when the hostage-taking incident happened at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

Coloma made the statement a day after the House minority, where Arroyo belongs, demanded his resignation along with Secretary Ricky Carandang and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo for the hostage crisis.

Representative JV Ejercito (lone district, San Juan) said the Arroyo government might have trained the police too much in battling her political critics that they have forgotten how to handle hostage situations.

“In nine years, they were so used in guarding fighting political adversaries, hindi na nasanay sa hostage situations,” Ejercito stressed.

Ejercito, son of former President Joseph Estrada whose position was taken over by Arroyo in 2001, also appealed to the House majority coalition not to point fingers at who is to blame for the 11-hour hostage drama.

“We should not be quick in finger-pointing dapat magtulungan tayo kung pano magawa ng paraan. In fariness to the present administration, they are only 55 days old when this happened," he added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)