FIRST there was the young lawyer who had just dropped off his girlfriend. Then the restaurant owner and president of a family-owned corporation, and then a well-known businessman from Cebu who has not figured in the local news but turned out to be a rather controversial where he came from.

Authorities claim they now have the identity of the gunman in the lawyer’s slay. Two self-confessed killers of the

businessman has been arrested just hours after he was reported missing and his body recovered in a ravine in

Malalag, Davao del Sur. The police are still investigating the newest case, where the gunman reportedly walked bare-faced up to the victim and shot him in the head while he was having dinner with his staff inside his office building along Sobrecarey Street near Victoria Plaza.

We can’t help but ask, why is it happening?

Among the three cases, only the motive in the case of businessman Ramon Teodoro Garcia is clear, at least on the

robbery angle as confessed by the main accused themselves. That of the lawyer’s is still up in the air, although

relatives are quite convinced of what they believe. That of the Cebu businessman’s still has to be established, never mind if his colorful life opens a lot of possibilities.

These are no ordinary people who get in a brawl and are killed as a result. They are not gang members who break out

in a riot with rival gangs every night. They are men like many of us, who lived known to many and a friend to just as many, but became the prey of those with ill-intent: the lawyer and the Cebu businessman’s killers showing the marks of hired killers, professional ones.

Thus, as we are still agape while pondering why this is happening in our city, there is one conclusion we can make,

there are hired killers here and they do their jobs well. If that isn’t enough to send chills up our spines…

Along with the deaths are big question marks that linger long after, all hoping for answers or at least the assurance that the guns will no longer be trained in somebody else’s way, ever.

Crime prevention will always be worth more than crime solution. But given the circumstances and our big city, we

know that will only be wishful thinking for all of us.