Shooting of good Samaritan in Caloocan raises alarm for public safety

May 3, 2024 - 3:23 PM
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Motorcycle rider
Motorbiker with helmet (Image by jcomp on Freepik)

Concerns about public safety and the country’s supposed lower crime rate were raised after news broke of a motorcycle rider shooting a person who assisted him after figuring in an accident.

Reports said that Mark John Aurey Blanco, a 38-year-old nurse, and Willy Manarom, a 39-year-old construction worker, lost their lives after being shot by Joel Andrada Vecino, who initially identified himself as a security officer of a former politician.

Vecino was later found to be an assistant detachment commander of the Great Star Security Services in Laguna instead.

He was immediately arrested by the police and slapped with a double murder complaint following the incident.

Vecino fell from the motorcycle he was riding due to drunkenness at the corner of Road 17 and Road 6 at Lagumbay St. on the Upper Congress Village on Sunday evening.

Blanco saw the incident and went to help.

“Naawa siya dahil nakita niya, tinulungan niya itong suspek na itayo ‘yung motor,” Police Major Segundino Bulan, commander of the Caloocan Police Sub-Station 9, was quoted as saying.

“Ngayon, itong pagtayo ng motor, hindi na mapaandar ng suspek ‘yung motor kaya siya nagalit sa biktima. Bakit daw hindi na umaandar ‘yung motor niya,” he added.

Vecino then got angry and shot the nurse in the head and in the arm with a Glock 9mm.

A female bystander who saw the incident immediately sought help. Maranom, who was inside a house, heard her and went to the scene.

Vecino also shot him in the head.

The suspect immediately fled the scene but got caught when he hit a vehicle.

Reports said the nurse was survived by a spouse and five children.

Meanwhile, Vecino said it was not his intention to shoot the nurse and the construction worker.

“Humihingi ako ngayon ng tawad kahit kapalit ng buhay ko. Okay lang sa akin ‘yon,” he said.

The news drew concerns from Filipinos who learned about the incident as it showed two good-intentioned people getting killed.

An online user claimed to know the nurse who assisted the drunk rider.

“The nurse in this news was a former co-worker. It is just so tragic that Kit died this way. Hindi na [talaga] uso maging good samaritan. Rest in peace, Kit. Salamat sa pagsalo mo ng mga chest compressions ko ‘pag may code blue [tayo],” the user wrote.

“Another fear unlocked,” another Pinoy reacted, referring to the act of helping people in distress and how it could possibly go wrong.

“Bystander effect intensifies. Might as well mind my own business moving forward [’cause] this ain’t it,” wrote a different user.

Another Filipino claimed that “shooting” incidents have recently become common.

“Lagi na lang may shooting incident, nagagaya na tayo sa Amerika. It’s scary,” the user commented.

On May 1, a 17-year-old was shot in the head while going home from a computer shop in Cebu City.

The following day, a police captain was killed by a man he frisked for gun possession in Maguindanao del Norte.

Last month, a 13-year-old and an official of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao were gunned down in Batangas and Maguindanao del Norte, respectively.

A man in Cavite was also shot by a riding-in-tandem in the same month.

Other online users recalled the government’s words about a lowered crime rate and connected it to the recent incident.

“Grabe, @bongbongmarcos, ‘LOWER CRIME RATE’?” a user commented.

“No worries, the crime rate is dropping ‘daw,'” another Pinoy wrote.

On April 25, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos said that the peace and order situation in the country “has improved with a much lower index crime volume” during the first 21 months of the Marcos administration.

The data is based on figures from the Philippine National Police and was compared to the same period under former president Rodrigo Duterte.

The index crime volume from the pre-pandemic period of July 1, 2016 to April 21, 2018 was 196,519.

It went down to 71,544 from July 1, 2022 to April 21, 2024.

Index crimes are crimes that the police deem “serious in nature” as they frequently occur to the extent of being a sign of how crime-ridden an area is.