The senselessness of Kae Davantes’s murder

The case of murdered advertising executive Kae Davantes has riveted the nation for days.

benign0 (Avatar image) In a country where crime is rife and, often, goes unpunished, there is something about Davantes’s case that makes it stand out. Perhaps it is her place in society? A successful young professional, the way her fortunes changed in the blink of an eye, supposedly plucked from a tiny spot in Manila, and the indignity in the way she was treated and her remains disposed of after a lifetime of presumably being raised with such considered and measured care by her parents.

Most homicides are perpetrated by people known by the victim — a jilted lover, a jealous rival, an estranged spouse, someone the victim owes money to, whatever. Indeed, initial news reports that came out following her death speculated that Davantes may be a victim of a crime of passion.

People who try to come to terms with a horrible crime often would like to make sense of it. Knowledge that a horrible crime was committed because of a human motive often helps us come to terms with it.

But most unnerving are crimes where the circumstances surrounding the crossing of paths of the perpetrator and the victim is random. According to initial accounts following the recent arrest of one of the suspects in this case, this crime was of that sort.
The [suspect], whose identity was not immediately disclosed, admitted he and four other members of a robbery-holdup group took Davantes early morning of Saturday, Sept. 7.

The motive? “Napag-trip-an lang,” the street lingo for doing something on a whim, suggesting that Davantes was the victim of random violence.

In short, the killing of Davantes was senseless. She died much the same way people die in those US school shooting sprees — because she happened to be chosen by her killer randomly. Though one cannot regard anger, jealousy, or fear as justifiable enough motives to kill another human being, at least those motivators can be considered to be human. On the other hand, one would be hard-pressed to find anything even remotely human in an act of killing “on a whim.”

I am still hoping that evidence will be found that would suggest that there was a deeper motive behind Davantes’s killing than “napag-tripan lang” that would make it easier to come to terms with this horrid crime. – KDM, GMA News

benign0 is the webmaster of This piece originally appeared on that same site on Sept 21. We are re-posting it here with his permission.