It’s about being sensible and civilized human beings

This can’t be any more true:

“What is baffling is the Office of the Ombudsman’s failure to grasp the seriousness of the situation and the crucial nature of the role it was asked to play to defuse the crisis. Instead of humoring Mendoza by issuing an order reinstating him to his job, it sent him instead a written promise to review his case within 10 days—as if its overriding concern at that crucial moment was the preservation of the integrity of the judicial process rather than the preservation of the lives of the hostages. We don’t need a lawyer to tell us that an order issued under such circumstances carries no binding effect. But this didn’t seem to matter to the Office of the Ombudsman. It insisted on being legally correct. It makes one wonder if people in such high offices, lost in the rituals of their limited functions, can still think like sensible human beings.

Just as infuriating was the behavior of some people from the broadcast media during the hostage crisis. Where lives are at stake, as in an extremely volatile hostage standoff, one expects media to defer to the judgment of the police. One does not need an explicit protocol for media behavior under such conditions to know that no one, not even a media person, should get in the way of police work. You cannot invoke the public’s right to know as a justification to freely approach or communicate with an armed gunman who is holding hostages at gunpoint. Not even if it was the gunman himself who initiated the communication or demanded the media’s intervention. This is not just a matter of ethics. It is what a commonsensical orientation to law and order requires of all citizens.

— Randy David, “Madness and accountability,” PDI