A week and a day since it happened. And until today, I still consider it as Second Grace from God to extend my life after that very traumatic experience. If you guys are curious about what I am exactly talking, here's a quick rundown of what happened.
Last friday (February 22, 2014), around 7PM, I was boarding a jeepney to Cubao with my classmate/friend Kat Sulit. We had plans to go first to my place to get some books and bring dinner to my mom then head to our study place- Dunkin Donut, Aurora. Prior to that, we are boarding our friend's car when we decided to make a stop-over first in SM Sta Mesa. That's were we decided to stay up all night just to study. So going back, while riding a jeepney, passed Robinsons Magnolia, a guy seating right next to me declared hold-up. He said, "wag nyong ihihinto ang jeep. Akin na mga cellphone nyo." I froze. My friend Kat handed her necklace when the guy looked at me and said, "ang cellphone mo, ilabas mo." I did not move a bit. He deliberately opened my bag which is on my lap and took my wallet and Iphone. I initially thought I should fight but then he was holding a knife or balisong (sorry, I do not know exactly what) but sure enough, he was holding something sharp. Then I noticed that he is not alone. There were some people hanging on (nakasabit- for lack of better term) the jeepney. It happened very fast that they did not take everything. To my recall, they took my stuffs, my friend's necklace and the guy's cellphone which happened to be seating next to Kat. They called the jeepney driver to make stop in Betty-Go-Belmonte LRT Station and I saw them cross the street. The other passengers then shouted, "ipaandar nyo na. May hawak na baril yung isa." From there, I uttered- good call I did not fight back. However, knowing the value of my things stolen, I panicked. The jeepney driver dropped us in the nearest Barangay Hall- Kaunlaran. The people inside the hall made an urgent response and conducted rounds in the place. Sadly, we could no longer see the culprits. Then they took us to Police Station 7 and made a formal complaint.
Yes, we all know the value of an IPhone 5 and considering it is on postpaid, meaning a lock-up period of more than a year, this incident led me to being broke for the next indefinite months. I'm still grasping every single cent I have to save just to buy a new phone and continue my plan. It's temporarily suspended but still... *sigh. Well anyway, as I've said, I am still thankful nothing serious happened to me and my friend. At that point and time, I realized how valuable life is. But as a law student, I would like to give some intense insights about what happened, which I was able to comprehend only after a week.
- First, poverty is not a sin. I understand that need to live and though Eucharistic persons would claim that material things are not important (sorry, I don't mean to be sacrilegious. I am just balancing reality and Faith) it is different when even a piece of bread has value. But why resort to force, threat and intimidation. And even to some, why resort to killing. Your need to live cannot be justified with that kind of actuation. More than the properties taken, the trauma it gives can never be erased. Like in my case, until now, I still can't afford passing the same route where the incident happened. Fortunately, I have friends who are willing to bring me home after class. You take things fine- but leave a pain which can never be helped. Simply not acceptable. Note: Theft due to poverty is a considered to as Mitigating Circumstance under Criminal Law.
- Second, to the jeepney driver. Why you no help!? Don't you know that we, the passengers, are your responsibility. I am trying to put a rationale here but the fact that you did not even report to the police, only dropped us off in a Barangay Hall, led me to thinking you are part of the act. Are there anymore good soul in this planet.
- Third, to my co-passengers. The jeepney was full that time. It has some other guy passengers. Why did you not help. I understand the Doctrine of Self-preservation but the guy with a gun was among the first to descend the jeepney. I was seating on the end seats. Why you did not pull in the guy who took my things and applied whatever masculinity you have. Self-preservation is different from being unmindful to others.
- Lastly, to the police officer who handled my case. Why do you keep asking me insensitive stuffs. I do not intend to be arrogant but yah, I am a Law Student. I know how to make arguments. Prior to him knowing my education, he kept asking my things like "why did not the other passengers align and reported the incident." I was already on the brink of saying-- "malay ko po, di ko po sila knows." Seriously!? I do not know the other passengers. At that spur of the moment, even if I am the smartest (not claiming I am one) person in the world, the panic will definitely get to my nerves. Plus, I cannot force them to go down with me and report the incident. Being careless and unmindful passengers are their issues and not mine. Why make it appear that it is my fault. Isn't it the responsibility of police officers to assure that that place is safe since this is not the first time. A week before mine, a jeepney driver was shot also by robbers. Now you tell me that this thing should be resolved because if not, the patrol who should be there at the time of the incident will be held liable. Talk about priorities police officer.
Well anyway, that's my two cents about what happened. Sorry this is just a quick post since I am trying to avoid opening again this topic unless needed- like today. Hope this will be a reminder to everybody to be diligent all the time. Also, I am in a way thankful that because of what happened, I came to realize who are my true friends, valued family more and strengthened my Faith with God. Thanky everybody and God Bless!