cell phone killings

09/27/04 at 9:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

What the hell is wrong with this country? What kind of monsters kill people for the sake of cell phones? Who kill people, period.

Last week, we lost two more fine journalists due to senseless cell phone-related violence: Today newspaper assistant business editor Jose Luis Villanueva and Iloilo TV newscaster Chris Misajon, anchor of GMA Network’s “Ratsada.”

These atrocities are part of the alarmingly increasing number of crimes being committed for the sake of cell phones. Some of these crimes are committed in broad daylight, by snatchers or holduppers.

Some victims are “lucky” and only lose their cell phones. Others survive the ordeal but suffer minor or major injuries.

Others die.

It’s getting to the point where many people are reluctant to use cell phones in public. We talk of the information technology revolution, we talk of making the Philippines an IT hub, yet we can’t even walk the streets and use our cell phones and other gadgets without feeling apprehensive. And I’m not only talking about narrow alleys in some seedy parts of the city. I’m talking even places like the Philippine financial district of Makati City in broad daylight.

I never met Jose Luis and Chris in person, but I wish to extend my condolences to their families. And pray for their souls and that no more lives will be lost due to these senseless crimes.

To read more about Chris and the fond memories he has left behind, please visit Ian’s blog.

For the latest stories on the investigation into these crimes, please read about the arrest of the suspects in Jose Luis’ killing and view the GMA Flash report on the 5 people suspected of being involved in the death of Chris — just click on the link under the GMA7 TV-Radio section of the INQ7.net homepage.



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  1. when the atrocities committed to the citizens who are trying to eke out a decent living hit close to home, you cannot help it but take notice.

    i’ve said it before (in fact, i’ve written to the Inq7.net’s editors about how lawlessness and terrorism grab the headlines of the country’s newspapers. sadly, i don’t think it made the editorial staff’s standards), and i will say it again that it appears that lawlessness and terrorism on the streets of the philippines compete with graft and corruption for first place as menace to society. these are some of the principal reasons why the philippines cannot move up and on.

    from a distance, i thought cell phone theft is just a petty crime in the philippines as it is in europe. but i was wrong when i read the Inq7.net’s series on cell phone theft. it is a thriving business, albeit illegal and criminal. the snatchers and thieves, and the peddlers of stolen hardware are a shameless bunch armed and dangerous and not afraid to expose their tools of the trade. these are criminals worthy of the pen without exit doors to ensure no repeat of their appalling trade.

    the recent deaths of two journalists you covered here added to several more that happen with regularity as childbirth every several minutes (most of them unreported). these thefts are not just the smash-and-grab in moving or parked cars or the bump-and-grab types in the streets of quezon city or manila or of the countryside: the thieves are brazen and swift in their action emboldened by the powerful arms they carry, loaded and ready to be fired at their victims at any moment of violent reaction from their preys.

    the criminals do not think twice in killing their victims. they do not think of the young mother or father and brothers and sisters and young children of the victim who depend on the victim for their daily subsistence. they do not think of what kind of future their victim’s families will hold from the loss of their loved ones.

    these thieves do not think of what will become of their victim’s orphans: from a life full of hope to something like being their own kind. god forbid!

    a classic example i cited on my letters to the Inq7.net’s editors was the University of the Philippines’ nursing student who was robbed of his cell phone while riding a taxi somewhere in downtown manila. he was knifed to death by the criminals when he struggled to give up his cell phone. another waste of a precious life of a young, aspiring future health care provider!

    is cell phone a boon or a bane? you be the judge. all i can say is it can be a bane when used to justify the end which exactly happened in a bus robbery incident, reported in the Inq7.net, sometime ago. the robbers used their cell phone to communicate with the accompliced bus driver who told the robbers the exact location where he was and where he was heading to. a crime was in the making waiting to happen at the next bus stop. what will these criminals think of (possible uses of the cell phones) next?

    it is very disturbing that the law enforcers are nowhere to be found when something like this happens. in fact, one is mistakenly led to believe that the authorities seem to reward the criminals by not paying attention to the lawlessness and non-existence of order in the society.

    as i was going to post it here, another journalist was gunned down in bataan province yesterday. it may not be a cell phone-related motivation that was the reason for the killing. but just the same, it is lawlessness raised another bar!

    how many more lives and properties will be lost before the authorities take action?

    yeah, joey, what the hell is going in my beloved country, the philippines?

    andre faura

  2. hi andre, thanks for sharing your views. i plan to publish your comment online in the mailbag section of global nation, our site for filipinos abroad.

    just confirming if that’s ok with you, and if you’re based in canada.

    thanks and hope you’ll keep visiting this blog and inq7.net.


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