‘Nagpahinga lang tapos binaril?’: Guard’s shooting of resting worker sparks concerns

February 19, 2024 - 1:31 PM
Man holding a gun
A man holding a gun. (Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay)

The shooting of a service worker by a security guard in Calamba, Laguna concerned Filipinos who sought stricter firearms laws and training for those who will handle them.

Reports said a 32-year-old service worker Ronald Santillan, was shot on Saturday, February 17, by a member of an industrial park staff who told them they were not allowed to rest in the area.

Santillan was resting with his brother outside the fence of an industrial park in Barangay Batino on Saturday afternoon when security personnel ordered them to leave.

A video of the incident revealed that Santillan and his brother argued with two security guards, with the former saying that they were outside the park premises and could rest in the area.

One of the guards later put on a helmet and then left.

The other continued to argue with the brothers.

Another guard later entered the scene and fired several gunshots at Santillan without warning.

The guards then left and attempted to flee through the industrial park’s main gate.

Calamba police said one of them was arrested while the other one who fired the shots surrendered to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group on Sunday, February 18, with a lawyer.

Reports said the suspects are scheduled for inquest proceedings on Monday, February 19.

The victim will also undergo an autopsy as part of the ongoing investigation.

The incident alarmed Pinoys who sought harsher firearms laws after learning about the cause of the tragedy.

“Can we implement more strict firearm laws [’cause] why do these public security personnel feel like they have the right to kill people anytime they want… AND that’s an innocent road worker seeking for a place to rest, to be exact,” an online user commented.

“Could we please impose stricter firearm laws,” another Pinoy said with a crying face emoji.

“Nagpahinga lang tapos binaril??? These [kinds] of people should not hold guns, they are scary AF,” a different user commented.

Others said those who need to carry firearms should undergo psychological tests prior to being authorized to bring one.

“The way people are getting [too] comfortable in k-wording nowadays. We must start implementing [a] mandatory psychological test before handing out firearms to these people. Same with driving, too,” a Pinoy said.

Some lamented the “culture of violence”, which they said has riddled society.

“Bakit papatayin ang taong nagpapahinga lang naman? Harrowing— we should all be haunted by the culture of violence that normalizes the killing of impoverished people,” sociologist Ash Presto commented.

“This culture of violence is a Duterte legacy,” another Pinoy commented, referring to the rampant extrajudicial killings perpetrated in the country through former president Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs” campaign.

Last year, the Philippine National Police warned trigger-happy gun holders against using their firearms indiscriminately.

“Every policeman, including all of the armed services, should be responsible enough not to use their firearms because that is very dangerous. There would be no mercy shown to police caught indiscriminately firing their guns, and their immediate supervisors too,” former chief Police General Rodolfo Azurin Jr said before.

One of the most famous cases of a “trigger happy” incident involved late cop Jonel Nuezca, who shot civilians in 2020 after figuring in a heated argument.

RELATED: 2020 Tarlac shooting remembered as PNP skips gun muzzling during Holidays

Earlier this year, a security guard was nabbed for using his firearm during the New Year’s Eve revelry.