THIS is in reaction to the news story published in the Sun-Star Pampanga on 11 January 2010 entitled “Manhunt on vs ex-city councilor” with link

Although I do not condone the reaction of ex-Angeles City Councilor Romeo Taruc in, so to speak, “putting the law into his hands” by allegedly shooting last January 8 a birthday celebrant after a heated argument to stop the latter’s group in making intolerable loud noise during their revelry in the neighborhood, I also sympathize with him on what he could have suffered in at first enduring the noise emanating from the house of the celebrant, obviously his neighbor.

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Although the why’s and what’s of the incident were not extensively published by this newspaper, I would surmise the noise could have been emanating from singing via the videoke which is now a usual fare in almost every revelry in a poor country such as the Philippines.

I do not know if at first Taruc reported the disturbance to the subdivision, barangay or police authorities that are supposed to be on patrol at this first class subdivision. Had these authorities made a preemptive move, which is their sworn duty, the incident could have been avoided. They should not have to wait for complaint to be lodged before they make the necessary move. Most affected neighbors that are fuming in anger are almost always hesitant to complain because they avoid being branded “walang pakikisama.” I know we already have a law against public disturbance and law regulating noise pollution.

And if irritating and intolerable noise from loud speakers emanating from revelries is not yet regulated by law, lawmakers in the Barangay Council, Municipal, City and Provincial Councils, and Congress must enact ordinances and or laws before another incident more serious than this to happen.

Noise which is very hard to confine should really be regulated like separating bars, clubs, discos and the like from residential areas. Revelries and other activities using loud speakers should likewise be regulated, say, confining such activities in acoustically-closed houses or acoustically-closed government multi-purpose buildings.

We all in one way or another had been irritated with such intolerable noise in our neighborhood. We’ve got to collectively take action now. In other countries with responsible governments such activity is prohibited by law and enforced strictly. This is the right to hear and the right not to hear. Although we have the right to celebrate we should be considerate to others. Our neighbors have the right also to live in peace.

Frank Mangulabnan

San Fernando City


12 January 2010