CAMPAIGN VERSUS DEADLY WEAPONS

By: Ben Emata

For Filipinos living in the Pahilippines, everyday killings is ordinary and not a subject matter for talks. Newspaper columnists and broadcasters would shrug their shoulders on killings and would not say a thing. It is not news anymore and people would not think about it as anything of importance. The reason is killing is part of living or is a way of life in the country and as such no one would be alarmed about it.

For Filipinos, however, living in foreign lands, the matter is hitting them in the brain. It disturbs them so much specially those who are preparing for a balikbayan vacation. They think about being kidnapped, accosted by criminals, murdered or whatever. And the fact that these people living in big cities bereft of big crimes in close intervals, makes them even more terrified of criminality in the Philippines.

But just why crimes proliferate in a small country as ours? According to a killer who allegedly killed seven people and who surrendered to me some years ago while I was very active in the media, killing was his occupation. He established his name in the kingdom of the underworld and his friends feared and admired him so much. He was revered by his partners in crimes. In short he was a kingpin in their kind of criminals. When he surrendered to me, I was confused and I thought he would make me his 8th victim and get into banner lines of newspapers. Just the same I prepared myself and got ready with my .32 cal. Llama pistol. In my mind, if someone has to die between the two of us, it should not be me.

He told me he was tired of hiding and running from the police and he would rather stay in jail. So I brought him to the police station to surrender with a request and warning that he should not be harmed. He revealed there were so many firearms in the criminal world in the possession of criminals. Guns are easy to procure the reason why crimes cannot be stopped. To the criminals, firearms are symbol of strength and readiness and would make them stronger and more courageous.

It is on this theory that convinced me that for as long as guns are running wild in society particularly in the hands of criminals, crimes will never be reduced in the minimum much less stricken out in modern civilization. And like the sky-rocketing cost of living, crimes will stay and rise too. It is an occupation of some people and source of income. What is bad the criminals do not pay income taxes.

I would suggest, therefore, that the law enforcers concentrate more in the campaign against guns and other deadly weapons before getting serious in petty crimes as physical injuries and simple thieveries. When martial was declared by then Pres. Marcos, he ordered the surrender of loose firearms or spend time in stockade for twenty years with hard labor. Many paraded to the police and surrendered their guns.

A presidential candidate who said he can stop crimes in just three to six months is definitely lying or as a way to gain access to the electorates ballots. It is highly incredible and could not be achieved. He is like a dog barking at a wrong tree. BEN EMATA Bennex News Service

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