Yesterday’s hostage crisis in Manila, where a ex police chief kidnapped a bus of Chinese tourists, made the headlines.

Several were killed, and we expect lots of fingers being pointed at the rescuers for a botched hostage rescue. But no one is going to say that the motives were due to religion, or try to explain that it was a protest against Chinese exploitation of Filipinos. Nah, just a cop fired for taking kickbacks who went amuk and wanted to pressure the government into giving his family his pension.

All of this is bad news for the Philippines, whose tourist industry attracts many Koreans and Asian tourists. Making things worse is the murder of a Korean pastor in a kidnapping in Pasig, and the recent murders of several foreigners living in the Manila area.

Despite all these attacks in the news, however, things tend to be safe in the Philippines for tourists and foreigners living here.

Crime is crime, and usually high profile poor criminals are caught.

Of course, no one expects white collar crimes like the “fertilizer scam” (P728 million) or prosecution of those who take bribes, divert funds, or ask for kickbacks. That is why the perpetrator of the hijacking was so angry: in a culture of corruption, why was he made an example of?

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