The killing of Nixon Kua and Pnoy’s fantasy picture of the country’s peace and order situation

The Inbox


By Ellen Tordesillas

We mourn the passing of a colleague and friend, Nixon Kua, former head of the Philippine Tourism Authority, who passed away late Monday evening, two days after he was shot by what police initially said was a robbery incident in the posh Ayala Greenfields in Calamba, Laguna.

The incident happened in front of the house of his brother, Allyxon, who was also shot several times but survived.

Aside from his brother. Nixon was with his wife, Susan, and two children, Sue Anne and Daryl. Imagine how traumatic it must be for the wife and children.

Nixon's wake is at Sanctorium on Araneta Avenue, Quezon City.

Nixon's started his journalism career in the mid-80's with Tempo, the tabloid sister publication of the Manila Bulletin.  He was one of the pioneers of the Philippine Star after the 1986 People Power Revolution. He was assigned at the Presidential Commission and Good Government and that was where I first met him.

Nixon, who was close to  Sen. Panfilo Lacson, was PTA head during the Estrada administration.

At the time of his death, he was writing a column for the tabloid PangMasa, sister publication of the Philippine Star.

Nixon has a generous heart. He would have boxes of books delivered to me which I brought to Magdalo officers in detention and to the Scout Rangers who were accused of mutiny (but were eventually cleared)  and were detained in  Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal in connection with  the 2006 attempt to withdraw support from Gloria Arroyo.

We will always remember your kindness, Nixon. We will miss you.

Gerry de Belen, Sen. Lacson's media officer, the police in Calamba have arrested three suspects who were positively identified by Nixon wife and children as three of their four attackers. They were identified as John  Esquivel Reycortez, Darwin Samiano Alcantara, at Noel Esquivel Garcia, all residents of  Bgy Maunong, Calamba.

The incident with Nixon that happened in a place where security is tight is just one of the many incidents of crime that citizens witness and experience and have to deal with.  Bag snatchers and hold uppers are so brazen, they operate in busy places and in broad daylight and have no qualms of killing their victims.

That's why we can't quite relate with President Aquino's  "We have suffused the nation with light" declaration in his third State of the nation address.

That  "light" Aquino exulted  "has exposed the crimes that occur in the shadowed corners of society."

"What the Filipino works so hard for can no longer be pilfered," he declared. What????

He enumerated figures to back up the illusion that he was feeding the citizenry: " Crime volume continues to decline across the country. In 2009, over 500,000 crimes were recorded—this year, we have cut that number by more than half, to 246,958. Moreover, 2010's recorded 2,200 cases of carnapping has likewise been reduced by half—to 966 cases this 2011."

He even took a snipe at media: "It is these facts that, we hope, will be bannered in headlines. We do not claim that we have ended criminality, but I'm sure no one would complain that it has been reduced. In the span of just a little more than a year, haven't we finally put Raymond Dominguez in jail, after years of  being in and out of prison? Charges have been filed against two of his brothers as well, and they are now serving time, too. Of the two suspects in the Makati bus bombing of the past year—one is dead, and the other is living in a jail cell. He shares the same fate as the more than ten thousand individuals arrested by PDEA in 2011 for charges relating to illegal drugs."

The President, for all his good education and years in public service and dealings with the press, does not understand journalism.

The famous quote by a British newspaper magnate is a good guide of how reporters and editors decide what to highlight when reporting: "When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news."

Government workers  performing  their job  should not be news. That should be a normal happening. If there are dysfunctions in the organization, that is news.

A good example of news, which I think has been reported before  was what Aquino said: "When this administration began, 45 percent of our police carried no guns."

Imagine a police  without a gun running after a criminal. Only in the Philippines.

Aquino said: "Pacquiao does not fight every day, and so we can't rely on him to bring down the crime rate. Which is why we're strengthening our police force. When this administration began, 45 percent of our police carried no guns and probably relied on magic charms as they chased criminals. But now we have completed the bidding—and we are now testing the quality—for an order of 74,600 guns, which we will provide our police, so that they may better serve and protect the nation, our communities, and themselves."

In an ideal situation, providing arms to each and every police officer  would not be news. But in a perverse situation like what is happening in our police system, Aquino is right: that is news.