“Huna ko daw sa syudad sana igwa kang mga “riding in tandem”* na an. Pati man palan uya igwa na. Nakatakot na lugod magluwas ta tibaad matsambahan ka baga.” (I thought the so-called “riding in tandem” can only be found in the cities.  Apparently they’re also present here (in Catanduanes). It’s suddenly frightening to come out, knowing you might be mistaken as a target).

That is the talk of the town for the past two weeks following the shooting incident involving an MSWDO worker. The people are uneasy and are in fear for their security because of this event, which unfortunately, is one of many recorded by our law enforcement agencies.

The natural question is: “what are the men in uniform, doing in response to this”?  The comforting answer, received via a surprise interview with one of our PNP personnel is that they are actively looking into these cases, which they view as isolated incidents. In other words, they don’t believe that a huge or powerful syndicate or gun-for-hire group stationed in the island is behind these crimes. This is in spite of  the fact that there have been a few notable victims who have fallen because of said method, specifically we have: Larry Que, Jess Albaniel, the Besa brothers and the latest addition: Eubra. What is noticeable is that these people all have political connections or have special places in the society – people no ordinary man dare touch.

Guns for hire or just acts from random citizens who wish to administer justice through their own means, this publication agrees with one thing: these have to stop. The law must extend its hand or risk the reputation of Catanduanes. If this continues, everything, from economics to tourism until ultimately livelihood will be affected because of fear. Even the media or political leaders who wish to break down walls to reach out to more people might just end up getting shushed by such acts. Moreover, we cannot let more precious lives be taken by no one else by the Creator Himself whose judgment is the only true judgment – one who can truly decide who is guilty or not; who deserves to die or not.