Saturday , June 23, 2018

Editorial: Discernment amid the noise

THE appearance of the taxi driver whom police claimed was victimized by 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz puts together a story that is so convoluted, it gives us a full glimpse of the environment our youths are living in now.

It can now be said that yes, Arnaiz, the pretty boy who dropped out from University of the Philippines, did rob a taxi driver. This puts a black mark to the story made around him that he is every mother's dream. He is not. He could in fact be an example of the millions of children around who had to thrive without the proper guidance of parents who need to seek work abroad, leaving their children to be raised by relatives or just one parent.

As revealed by Tomas Bongcal, the taxi driver who had a scar in his right wrist to show for Arnaiz's attack, Arnaiz held him up and tried to shoot him, except that the gun jammed.

"And then that time na nakuha na 'yung wallet ko, pinalo po niya 'ko (that he got my wallet, he slammed me)," the taxi driver said.

There were witnesses who saw the robbery in progress, who mauled Arnaiz as he tried to leave. It was Bongcal who pacified the mob and brought Arnaiz to the police station where he was just asked his name and personal details and the registration details of his taxi and nothing else. He added that he witnessed Arnaiz's killing, the details of which he refused to divulge.

"Ang ano ko lang kasi nangyari sa pulis, iyong pagkapatay noong prinisent kong holdaper ay parang may stage play. Parang scripted ang pagkapatay (My concern is that the killing is scripted)," he said.

Arnaiz was killed on August 18 by Police Officers 1 Jeffrey Perez and Ricky Arquilita of the Caloocan City police, allegedly after he engaged cops in an encounter. But the taxi driver said he brought Arnaiz to the police precinct, thus painting a different story from what the policemen have been peddling.

Thus, we are seeing here, not just a young man who is full of promise going astray, but a police force that is not above killing suspects following a certain script.

It's times like this when people have to be more discerning of the things going around them and not just pounce to action and rant. Discernment more than ever is needed to get a good grasp of what is happening and how we are being made a pawn of the events that are going on around us.

Something is happening, and it is definitely not what the left is interpreting events for us. Let us as a people be more discerning than decades-old slogans and knee-jerk protests. For all we know, we being played around with by those who want us to believe that this is about a government of the past being replicated by the government of today, when all they really want is to destroy the government of today and don't really care much about what happened in the past, except as memories that they can make us shiver from.

While we're at it, let us look at a pressing problem that is a reality to millions of Filipinos: children growing up well-provided for but without the guidance of parents. These same children are our future, and allowing them to live a life of resentment and hate can only bring them much closer to crime, and we cannot allow the criminal society we already have now to prosper any further.