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POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

In partial fulfillment to the academic requirements of COM 648: Investigative Journalism and Development Communication

Submitted By:
Submitted To: Submitted On:

Cherrielyn L. Alvior
Dr. Maria Lourdes D.P. Garcia October 10, 2010

POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

JEOPARDY IN SECURITY
An Investigative report
By CHERRIELYN L. ALVIOR

POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

Lead
Third week of September 2010, in EP Housing Barangay Pinagsama, at around 1:00 am, a teenage boy was shot. The youngster was said to be an addict. The bullet that wounded the minor allegedly came from an unlicensed gun triggered by a Barangay Security Personnel or Barangay Tanod.

Hypothesis
Firearms are tantamount to violence. With the possession of guns, possibility of becoming trigger happy of some barangay tanod is huge. If the premise that a certain tanod was the one who fired the shot towards the youngster, then he and the barangay officials should be castigated and be questioned. Why the possession of a firearm? Where did it come from? Who provided it? Why was it used against the boy? These are the interrogations they have to provide an answer with.

The investigative trail


Paper Trail
Records in Barangay Pinagsama Hall provide an identification of the young victim. The minor, let us name him Danny is aged 17. Drop-out of school Lives with his sibling in Signal Village, Taguig City. They often transferred from one place to another before. Drug addict at a very young age, user of Marijuana and other forms of drugs.

POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

People Trail
The lead that I sniffed came from this credible source that happens to know the victim and the barangay tanod who allegedly shot the Danny. He is Alyas Bombay. I was able to interview a certain Maro who was given the information that the barangay security personnels were indeed the ones who gunned down the Danny. One woman witnessed the incident in front of her house and even attested Bombay, who asked her about the occurrence, that a tanod a certain Brian Makuntas - shot Danny with his gun. Barangay Pinagsama Womens Desk officer narrated me the story of Danny and shared me her interview accounts with the boys parents.

Electronic Trail
The reporter looked into some data online about the penalties of Illegal Possession of Firearms; hazards of barangay tanod carrying a gun; law that states the illegality of such. I came across the Facebook account of the suspect, but due to the sensitivity and confidentiality of this matter, information is withheld.

The Incident

POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES September 14, 2010, Tuesday, news broke out in the neighborhood of EP Village in Barangay Pinagsama, Taguig City. It was about the gunshot heard the night before that echoed in the streets. The victim, Danny, a male youngster was killing time with his friends along the main road of the said village. It was around midnight. The group probably did not notice the time. Or maybe was just enjoying each others company. Suddenly, neighborhood was bothered by unusually quick and loud footsteps. It was 1:00 in the morning. Danny and his gang ran. They were being chased by a group of men. Fortunate of his friends who were running quick but Danny, who was running slow behind them was unluckily shot at back of his shoulder by those men. The next day, Danny woke up in a hospital bed. The hapless Danny was fortunate enough to survive the gunshot, thanks to the people who brought him to the hospital. There have been speculations as to what really happened that midnight. It was unclear who brought him to the city hospital. The identity of the armed men who chased him and his friends and the reason of them chasing Dannys gang are yet to be answered.

POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

The Story behind the story

A lot of rumors and hearsays spread after the incident. Some are true, some are not. Danny is a drug addict. Hes been smoking marijuana for quite a time. He has tried several kinds of prohibited drugs. This is true. It was confirmed by people who know him in the village and by his father who reported the incident to the barangay as the soon as the morning of September 14 broke. The boys being a drug addict is consequential to his lifes experience. At seventeen, Danny already passed through difficult times. Her mother passed away when he was just six months old. Then, only a few months after the mothers demise, his father already remarried. Danny has two siblings from her step mother. He grew up with his grandmother in the province. When he was ten, his father brought Danny to study and live with his family in the city. Danny became rebellious as it was told that his stepmother physically abuses him. This led him to run away from his fathers family and live with his biological sister in Signal Village. Danny, without enough parental concern and guidance, then became exposed to harsh realities; abuse drugs and got involved with burglary influenced by his known friends. Speculations tell that Danny and his friends were planning for a hold-up and were waiting for a victim, the reason of them staying at that wee hour in the street.

POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES Some folks tell that it was a gang war. That there was an encounter between Dannys gang and their rival. And that led to him being shot by a rival gang member who has got a gun. But the thing that caught the writers attention is the speculation that the Barangay Security Personnel or the Barangay Tanod were the ones who fired the shot at Danny. If this is true, the fact that a Barangay Tanod was carrying a gun is bothering and kind of intriguing. Bothering for it is in our law that a barangay tanod is not allowed to carry a gun, and it is a little uncomfortable to the residents of the barangay to see someone with a gun roaming and patrolling the streets. The mere sight of a gun is pretty alarming to others. Intriguing because of the question in mind as to who provided them the gun and what is their reason for carrying such.

Sources talk
The writer got a chance to meet with Bombay, the person who knows Danny and who knew a little about the story. On September 14 at around 1:00 am, Bombay was standing at their gate, peeing, when he heard three shots outside. He was pretty sure that what he heard were gunshots. He did not bother to go out and just opted to sleep. The next day he went to a neighbor who lives where the incident happened and ask her about it. He was told that Danny was shot by the patrol guys.

POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES Bombay was still kind of indifferent about the incident. Then, on September 30 at around 7:45 in the evening at his brothers house, he met an old friend. There was a birthday party in the house and some of his brothers friends were there. So he chance upon meeting Brian Makuntas, he and his brothers friend. Brian is a barangay tanod. When they were drinking, Brian suddenly blurted out to him. Okay na Bombay, bawi ka na. Tatlo nalang. Isusunod ko na yung tatlo. Binaril ko yung nagba-barker dyan sa C-5, yung isa sa mga nakakakilala sa mga nang-holdap sayo, Bombay narrated Brians statement. When Bombay was told about this, he suddenly remembered that he mentioned before to Brian that three men held him up last year. He never had the slightest thought that Brian, a close friend of his brother, would really go after those guys. Sabi ko nalang kay Brian salamat at sabihan niya nalang ako pag nadale niya na yung iba. Bombay shared. Maro, another source I talked to, related to me some piece of information. He told me that on September 19 at 9:00 in the evening, he was standing by another street and smoking, when Ato, a barangay tanod, pass in front of him. He called on to Ato to say Hi. Ato stop and they had a small talk. Then Maro suddenly asked the tanod about the incident and Ato answered him, Ah kami yun, mga maiinit sa mata naming mga eh, mga suspected holdaper. Nagroronda kami nun tapos nakita naming nakatambay sa street malapit sa eskinita, hinabol namin. Ang bilis nila tumakbo eh. Nakatakbo yung tatlo si Danny lang yung natamaan. It seems like, with the way they narrate, the security personnel were confident to share others the details of their action, as if they are not worried at all.

POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

Dannys account
The writer reporter visited the barangay hall and spoke with the Womens and Childrens desk officer. This desk officer was the one who talk to Dannys father, when he reported to the Barangay the misfortune of his son. According to the story the father related to the desk officer, he was able to talk to Danny at the hospital. Danny told him he was shot by a Barangay Tanod. When his father asked him how sure he was, he just identified the patrol vehicle. It was unclear why the boy was shot. But the desk officer showed me a document that tells that just September 7, Danny was caught by the barangay tanod trying to steal a metal light post. It might be a reason why Danny was being hunted by the security personnel. That he just step out of the jail and there he was again, planning to participate in another crime.

Familys sentiments
Dannys father gave his sides to the desk officer. He and his family just want to know the real reason why his son was shot. He said that Danny is such a stubborn boy and he want him to learn his lesson but as a parent, he is hurt and shocked to his sons fate.

POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

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Penalty
A barangay tanod can be legally held accountable for carrying a firearm. Case of Qualified Illegal possession of Firearms can be filed. In such a case where murder, homicide or attempted murder results from an unlicensed firearm, the case is no longer Qualified Illegal Possession of Firearms. The use of the unlicensed firearm is not considered as a separate crime but shall be appreciated as a mere aggravating circumstance. A simple reading Republic Act No. 8294 shows that if an unlicensed firearm is used in the commission of any crime, there can be no separate offense of simple illegal possession of firearms. In view of the amendments introduced by RA 8294 to Presidential Decree NO. 1866, separate prosecutions for attempted murder and illegal possession are no longer in order. Instead, illegal possession of firearms is merely to be taken as an aggravating circumstance in the attempted murder case.

POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES **** Gun is authority. Abuse of power among our barangay tanod is a possibility if they will be allowed to bring guns. That little power they have can be used towards something negative. One important point, without demeaning these security personnel, is that they do not have enough training and orientation when it comes to handling a gun. I believe that basic human rights should be taught to them first and be their utmost priority. What is the use of PNP and AFP, our police and soldiers who act as peacemakers and crime rescuers if barangay tanod will be given guns? Instead of acting as police, the barangay tanod can make themselves useful by cooperating with the PNP and report to them the crimes that happen within their vicinity.

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Justice requires the maximization of the total or average welfare across all relevant individuals.

-UTILITARIANISM