Thursday, January 20, 2011

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: CARNAPPING, LA NINA AND PRICE HIKE!

For the past days, I've been following reports on the series of carnapping, kidnapping and murder in the Philippines. Apparently, these issues are not only laid on the round table. There are also reports on price hike of public transportation such as MRT, jeepneys and taxis. Plus, there are also reports on La Nina which may affect the Philippines until April of this year.

I am glued on the news because the reports are not my reality in Brunei, but a reality in my mother country. As a Filipino, I think and believe that I have a responsibility to at least know what is happening. Plus, for the fact that my loved ones reside back in Manila, the central city where there's high reports on crime is detailed, I should know more and be cautious.

Reports about the Philippines are just frustrating and saddening. For some, since they couldn't just take the news, clicking the remote control to watch a more entertaining show is the best way to cope up. However, for some, it is through thorough scrutiny by watching reports unfold that they best understand realities, adopt to their community and create a can-do attitude on preparedness. In my case, I try to balance such realities depending on the gravity of what's being reported. Then again, news are realities are inescapable. As such, I can't help but to react on reports.

For the past days, reports on carnapping among second hand car dealers have been rampant. What's more alarming, the suspects do not only take the car, they also get the car dealer. As families of the car dealer reports the incident, soon, the body of the car dealer surfaces; a lifeless body killed brutally. The body is burned and is found in vacant lots in some provinces around Metro Manila.

According to reports, in the first month of 2011, there have been 31 reports of carnapping in the Philippines. Whether you are a local or a foreigner, such reports are definitely alarming. And now that there are some register of killings, much anxiety is booming as relative to a life of security.

The carnapping reports turned murder have happened in two consecutive cases. Among these two, the case of Attorney Lozano's son share the attention of the administration, police, the media and the public. According to reports, the Dominguez group, a group which have records of carnapping in the country, is being eyed as the main suspect. However, just last night, the leader of the Dominguez group spoke and cleared his name. The suspect said that the PNP or Philippine National Police have become comfortably numb in pointing fingers to them just to settle reports such as carnapping or murder.

In a relative report, the modus operandi of the carnappers is exposed in reports. In detail, carnappers nowadays have their ways and means. First, a carnapper would pretend to be a buyer of a second hand car. Second, a carnapper may bump your car in distant and remote places. Once you get down and talk, they will go into your car and go. Third, a carnapper may say that your tire needs air. As soon as you go down, that's the perfect time they will attack. And lastly, a carnapper may approach you and entrust their child in your care for a test drive. Once they get in the car for testing, you'll be surprised that no one will come back for the child. Meaning to say, they will take your car and the child that is entrusted to you is not really related to them, the carnapper.

Given these alarming reports, I am even more concerned with how my country is treating security as relative to justice or simply security system. Two weeks ago, there were even more shocking reports that police officials in the Philippine have been the source of crimes. Moreover, a girl was raped inside a police station. On these facade of a touted transparent administration, I think a review of the security system should be made. In terms of administrative employment, what kind of training do our policemen get and what laws do aide in securing proper conduct and commitment to service among police officers?

Now that the reports are out, it is inevitable for the general public to not worry. In fact, even I worry, lots. Who wouldn't, right? However, despite the panic attacks, I just hope that the criminals should be put behind bars. Despite the history of injustices and unresolved case from petty to big ones, the administration should look closely on what is being done in order to settle the case and retrieve trust among citizens.

On a different report, La Nina has now become a household report. According to PAG-ASA, the weather agency in the Philippines, La Nina is expected to stay and affect in the Philippines until April. Should this be predicted as accurate, then Summer is the Philippines would be off for this year.

La Nina is obviously as offshoot of Climate change. Climate change has been affecting the world in different levels. Just recently, Australia has been hit by heavy rains that pave way to flash floods in major cities. In Pakistan, the river rose and also made nearby cities suffer. And surprisingly, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a known dry country, has been hit by floods. In Russia, although there is storm or flash flooding that has been reported, the country's temperature hits at 100 degrees Celcius.With all these reports, there is no denying that the world is changing.

Reports on climate change are definitely call for attention not only among government offices or weather agencies. It is a phenomenon that must be addressed even by ordinary individuals. I guess, it's time to straighten our acts and be responsible in living a life here on Earth. Obviously, the water level in seas is rising as ice caps start to melt because of global warming. Seriously, if we will not imbibe a can-do action in doing simple and little things of protecting our environment, the movie 2012 may not be a far reality.

Lastly, reports on price hike on public transportation such as MRT, Jeepneys and Taxis in the Philippines are on the roll. On a hot seat, MRT is said to increase their price. Surprisingly, in two consecutive days, there are reports of equipment malfunction. As a former MRT user, I think DOTC should ensure first a quality service before imposing new prices.

As I heard in the news, Taxis have now increased their rate from 30.00 to 40.00 pesos. However, not all taxis are entitled to the new pricing. As cleared by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), there are requirements for a taxi to be considered as accredited in the new pricing. One distinct requirement is having a sticker on the taxi meter.

Additionally, since the Taxis' fare has been increased, the Jeepney Drivers are now lobbying to increase their fare to an add on of one pesos.

Bottom line, despite the depressing news I get, I still get to look at the situation with a flickering hope. However, I can't deny the fact that these reports are frustrating to watch.

Sayang lang dahil based on the skills of the Filipinos, I know that we can rise from being a Third world to being a First World. Apparently, there is a pile of issues that pull down our nation in achieving total progress.

True enough, in an insightful article written and published by Lee Kuan Yew, the Philippines is described as a nation that easily forgets. And on top of that, it is argued that democracy is not enough to lead the nation, but discipline should start among the Filipinos as well. Read further on this LINK.

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