No, sir, we are not peaceful

Asked about his thoughts on Eddie Gregorio’s murder carried out recently by motorcycle-riding men in Laoag City’s business district, Mayor Michael V. Fariñas said what any common politician is expected to say. He called the shooting of the 28-year old lawyer an “isolated case.”

Firmly believing that “the situation in the city is still peaceful,” the father of the city may have had the best intentions in mind. He wanted to keep an atmosphere of calm and sobriety among a people still distraught over someone so young, so brilliant, and so promising to be so dead.

What perplexes me though is his succeeding statement, “A crime can happen anywhere, anytime.” In broken Iluko, he continued, “no agplano iti maysa a tao, hanna a pilien whether in the morning, lunch time, malem wennu rabii.”

An average student of logic would not miss the inconsistency in the mayor’s pronouncements. First he says the incident is an isolated case and then concedes that such crime can be planned and executed anytime, anywhere.

The mayor gave two contradictory statements which cannot be both correct. If one is true, the other must be false, and vice versa.

I buy the second statement: crimes can happen, and in fact they do, anywhere murderers decide to, even here in Laoag.

Gregorio’s was the eighth death in eleven years among lawyers in the province. Add to this the still unresolved murder of Vice Mayor Jimmy Chua and of ordinary folks, and you could either acknowledge that the situation is a cause for alarm or buy the mayor’s stance and continue to live in denial.

The local chief executive may be right to say that Laoag is a peaceful place if statistics are to serve as basis, and comparisons are to be made with crime rates in other cities. But peace, dear karikna, is not a matter of  frequency but of probability.

Provincial Board Member Kris Ablan hit bulls eye when he delivered a privilege speech lamenting that human life has gone so cheap that anyone can get the services of hired guns for as low as five thousand pesos. (Some say the price can be even lower.)

“Everyone is now a target. This madness has to stop immediately,” Ablan urged.

What apo bokal considers as madness, apo mayor dismisses as “isolated.”

Until the mayor himself can walk confidently in the streets sans security detail, I say: No, sir, peaceful we are not.

Author: Herdy La. Yumul

A hesitant academic pimp, writer

31 thoughts on “No, sir, we are not peaceful”

  1. the country should have a stricter gun law.people who wants to carry a gun should be screened before they are given a gun permit.(or is there such thing )

  2. sobrang nakakapraning na talaga sa mundo. minsan if you think about it wala na talagang safe place sa mundo.lalo na dito sa pinas.its very normal to see crimes everyday tas kalimutan na the next dahil may bago na.

    and I agree, walang wenta ang mas istriktong gun law kung may mga taong patuloy na lalabag dito at worse yung mga taong may unlicensed guns na mas marami pa ata kesa sa mga registered

    1. yes, what a wanton disregard for human life, para na lang silang pumapatay ng ipis ngayon.

  3. Everybody can echo it again. Guns are not for men. These are dangerous toys in the hands of little boys, larger guys, politicians and mayors. They can kill their vice-mayors.

    Solution? Make it unlawful for males to keep guns, or even touch them. Only females can license firearms of any caliber. What a safe and ruly world we will live in. Imagine the husbands scampering for home at 5.PM. No more overtime at the honkytonks. And the fat envelopes find their way to the missus all accounted for.

    1. And no more men shooting their own feet… literally.

      I so love your humor that I consider supporting your proposal. 😀

  4. when a person is unsober rationality, coordination diminishes that is why there are so many accidents connected to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. and when they get in an argument and they have that gun it is so easy to aim it and pull the trigger.

    1. Right. The man we are talking about is said to be really kind and gentle sans alcohol. Otherwise, the wild animal comes out.

  5. people who drinks should be more aware of themselves.when they intend to drink, leave the gun at home because they know themselves more than anyone that the animal wildness comes out of them and their rationality becomes nil but some people use it as a” security blanket” aim shoot and suffer the consequences later.. .hence lot of killings occurs. people should have more respect for human life..not like killing ipis.

    1. On my way home yesterday, I saw a commotion along the highway in San Nicolas. Another man went down at the hands of hired killers. It’s a barangay captain this time.

  6. do you have internet at your dorm now?i noticed you had been answering comments at you eat and run?

    1. PLDT is making some system adjustments. Internet at home has been down for a month now. I use the office connection when i have time.

  7. what do you think is the motive for all these killings? envy,jealousy,politically incorrect or just for the sake of just killing someone?” will they make me a hero if i do it” kind of thing?

    1. I happen to belive that assasins are weak and afraid. They’d rather pull the trigger beacuse they are losers in legitimate arenas.

  8. a month?that is too long .over here when they do not come and repair mine the same day they hear from husband always say ” patience my dear patience.”

    1. This is the Philippines. If you’d bother about evrything wrong, you’d lose your sanity. Sometimes, you just have to take a deep breath and whisper in resignation, “ganyan talaga.”

  9. it’s time for me to go gallivanting to virginia and washington d.c. to meet my friend fr,willie from candon ilocos sur.he will be studying theology at catholic university of america…i promised him i will be there…

  10. Those recent crimes, not only in Ilocos but PI as a whole must look upon by our leaders, mas at peace pa nga kami dito sa Iraq, contrary to what they claim.
    Kaya sana tanggalin na ni Gloria ang ban sa Iraq

    1. Yes, don. Nice to know you are more preaceful there. The president should consider lifing the ban there so Filipinos can help rebuild Iraq. Iraq has moved on, aand so should we. Last week, a fellow columnist in the Ilocos Times survived an assasination attempt.

    1. The comments are still pending, tita. I will find time to post and answer them. Don’t worry. Hope our connection gets fixed soon. Am so disappointed with PLDT.

  11. Thanks for posting my comment Herdy… some people think of Iraq as a risky place but if u r working inside the US Base,, u are guarded 24/7 by US Forces.. 2-3 kmi lang nga ammok nga taga Laoag/Ilocos Norte ditoy ta ti ammo ti tao ket narisgo but i can assure my fellow Ilocanos,, it’s a safe and green field.. if u have an access to any company to work inside US base here in Iraq, i encourage u to try. Anybody wants to know the real situation here,, you can read the letter i sent to GMANEWS.TV entitled LIGTAS KAMI SA IRAQ. The link is

    1. I read your article. Very enlightening, very strong points. I agree that you should stay there where you could be of service to humanity.

      I should add though that peace there is still volatile and superficial if people feel safe mainly because US troops secure every corner. We look forward to the day when peace could exist as a choice made by the people, not one that is imposed on them by a megalomaniac state.

  12. I agree!!! But since i don’t intent to stay long, maybe 1 more year the most, its not a big deal if its superficial or genuine, for as long as it is safe. Its their country anyway, not mine!

    For hard headed people,, imposition is part of the process for them to learn, that i have proven in my years of being a member of a team for the transition of projects from US to locals here.

  13. I guess nobody wants to stay here in the war zone for good, hahaha!! Im working here as a civilian contractor and i’m just waiting for US petition..hopefully be opened in the next couple of years. Tay kunadan,, pagur urayan and i really hate being idle.

    By the way haven’t mentioned yet,, i’m a graduate of MMSU-Batac batch ’96. And the late SMAP was my sociology prof.

    He is genius,, and i can see another (younger) if not better SMAP in you.

  14. I agree when you said that peace is not of frequency but of probability. A series of killings in a certain place is already alarming. It is one indication that even we ordinary people are no longer safe. It is true that with a small amount the gun for hires can end a life. This is a sad reality. Sa mga kinauukulan, oras na para kayo ay mga katulad ko na ordinayong mamamayan, huwag lang tayong umasa sa mga nasa kapangyarihan sa pagsungpo ng krimen. Lahat tayo ay may responsibilidad at kailangan nating magtulungan at hindi magsisihan.

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daytoy ti bunga ti rimkuas nga iliw ken abrasa dagiti lagip iti selsel met la a nagtaudanna...

Herdy Yumul

Blogger/Columnist/Book Author


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