Day 12

The typhoon left the country. It passed through Luzon swiftly and now headed to open sea. My fire story also got published today, this is the fifth story I had published during my internship. However, the Inquirer desk deleted the second angle and used only the first portion of my story.

In one point, I’m happy for being able to publish another story. I’m also sad, however, because they cut away an important aspect of the story, the “So what?” part. I think the second angle is essential, but I can’t argue with the wisdom of the desk.

Anyway, today I went to Makati instead of to Bicutan because Sir Marlon Ramos did not go to work again. I had gotten used to being the first in the Makati Press Office. I go there around 8:30 or 9:00 a.m., a full two hours earlier than the reporters. I wonder why they always come late, or am I too early?

Today I wrote about an exhibit meant to raise awareness on the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in the country. IHL is a a set of rules seeking to “restrict means and methods of warfare” and “limit the effects of armed conflicts” to civilians and refugees.

The exhibit featured photos of war and calamity victims around the world bearing reminders to visitors of the atrocities of conflict and negligence to humanity. The Supreme Court and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sponsored this event which coincided with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Solferino. This battle led to the formation of the ICRC and eventually the Geneva Convention from which present humanitarian laws are based on.

In the same exhibit, the ICRC deputy head of delegation, Cristoph Sutter, also called on the Abu Sayaff to release one of their workers who had been kidnapped by the rebel group and had been in their custody for more than a hundred days.

Makati Regional Trial Court executive judge Cristina Cornejo’s opening remarks was very powerful. She said the photos were “mute” but were nonetheless “eloquent reflection of sufferings” of humanity. The IHL aims to resolve these sufferings.

She added that the exhibit hoped to increase awareness on the atrocities brought by armed conflicts especially to women and children; the efforts of the global community in resolving humanitarian concerns arising from conflicts; and the role played by the high court “in support of human rights and the rule of law.”

Aside from the exhibit, I also wrote about a shoot incident in Muntinlupa city. A man died of several gunshot wounds after he allegedly figured in a traffic argument with the unidentified suspects. I finished the story early but Ma’am Allison Lopez asked me to find one missing detail—a narration of the alleged argument.

It took me around an hour to get the information because no one in Muntinlupa police knew how the traffic argument happened. The police said the investigator was out so I couldn’t talk to him. I did not give up, however, and really persuaded them to give me even the unofficial version of the encounter. None of the police wanted to go on the record but after several tries Major Edwardo Paningbatan, chief of the Criminal Investigation Division, said he was willing to be quoted.

He said the victim nearly struck the suspects’ van causing the heated argument between the men. When they could not settle the dispute, however, the victim walked out on them. He was pursued by the suspects, and when they cornered his car, shot him several times then took off.

The police recovered the get-away vehicle in Taguig City and found caliber .45 pistol with eight bullets and a 9 mm pistol with 12 bullets inside the van. Only one of the suspects was caught. He was a rice dealer. The rest remain at large.
That’s it for today, I’ll add more tomorrow.
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