The lack of proper gear for a rapid assault hampered the effort to rescue the hostages during the August 23 hostage-taking, members of the Manila police’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team said on Saturday.

“Kulang po kami sa equipment. Sa akin lang po, kung may explosive device na nagamit sana sa pagbreak ng salamin, baka po mas may nangyari,” PO3 Edwin Simacon said on Saturday during the second day of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC)’s probe on the incident.

(We lacked equipment. If you ask me, perhaps we could have done better if we had explosive devices that could have been used to break the glass windows.)

Simacon, one of the SWAT operatives who launched the assault, added that his team did not have night-vision goggles and appropriate weapons when they launched the final attack to take down hostage-taker Rolando Mendoza and rescue the remaining hostages inside the bus.

“Siguro po, mas maganda kung assault rifles po ang nagamit. ‘Yung ginagamit po namin panahon pa ng Vietnam War,” he said.

(Maybe it would have been better if assault rifles were used. The ones we’re using date back to the Vietnam War era.)

Simacon was possibly referring to the more recently-developed commando assault carbines favored by anti-terrorist units, in contrast with the standard M16 infantry rifle or “Armalite” used since the Vietnam War.

Source: Andreo C. Calonzo for GMANews.TV.

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