Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Soft targets, we haz that

Here in the Philippines, when I go to the mall, I get my bag/backpack checked by a security guard, and I've seen Kuya get the small of his back patted down (to check for a hidden gun).

Banks and shops have "no guns" signs, and if you carry one, you have to leave it with the security guard at the door. To get in our bank, there is a guard outside and one inside who unlocks the door for you.

There is also a sign at the bank "no cellphones". There is also a "no cellphones" sign at church, to stop the ringing etc from disturbing people,  but I suspect the one at the bank is there to stop someone from setting off a bomb.

However, we are not patted down at church, and there are only cops wandering around the Palenke. Once I saw a psychotic man shouting in the Palenke parking lot, and told the cops who just shrugged (he was a regular and harmless). Don't know if they removed him.

The thing is that we have a lot of security here, mainly against local thieves and gangs.

when people in the US insist on gun control, I laugh: Marcos confiscated all the guns in the Philippines and they have strict laws. Of course, most locals still use machetes in fights, but we had a nephew kill his drunken brother who attacked him, with an illegal shotgun he used with birdshot to scare away thieves.... birdshot is not usually fatal at a distance, so probably he would have scared away the brother if some of it hadn't hit his femoral artery at 3 feet away.

So why did he have a gun? He lived on a farm and it was for safety.

Most middle class people here have guns (often illegal). Until Lolo had his stroke in the early 1990's, he had a hand gun and his WWII Machine gun in the closet. He gave them away after his stroke, so when we moved here we had only dogs for protection. Back then, most of the criminals would hesitate to attack you (although we did have an airconditioner stolen from our window... but it was old and they couldn't carry it to get away) and the store next door had a thief hide in the back and steal stuff after hours: He got out via the aircon room, then dropped onto the storage shed in the yard, and then over the wall.... the cops investigated and found his footprints and lots of dog footprints and laughed.

But in the past two years, we have had two neighbors killed in robberies, both elderly (one a FilAm) plus the danger of political violence (see previous post about the ex mayor's family attempts to kill her rival... who is a friend of Lolo's family... the last hit was when he was on they way home from our cousin's funeral, killing his body guard and 3 bystanders)... then there are kidnap gangs. So I rarely go out alone: No, the cook is 70 years old and 90 pounds, but she is related to half the tricycle drivers in town, (and probably the NPA who are now in retirement). So don't mess with her.

there are also reports about bodies being found: Drug reprisals? but presumably drug related. The Philippines is a major center for shipping out drugs, but like a lot of places, they are now selling it locally, and crime has gone up.

Are there sermons in the churches against such things? I have no idea (Mass is in Tagalog, and presumably the drug users don't go to church).

So anyway, when the Human rights folks complain about Duterte, you have to remember that violence is already around, and it takes years to get justice if the person has connections. The ex mayor, the father of the later ex mayor, died in bed despite being behind a hit that killed five people. The rumor was that he paid 20 thousand pesos a month to someone to stop from being indicted, but when Pnoy got in, the person he was bribing got honest, so he was indicted and "disappeared". (He fled to QC, where he was found three years later on dialysis).

Pnoy tried to stop the high level corruption but it is endemic. Sigh. Duterte has a lot of folks scared: Maybe they won't pay for their crimes if they go honest, so we are hoping things will change.

So anyway, soft targets and crime are as big a problem as terrorism here, and the money spent on security is huge.

Remember that the next time you read nonsense about terrorism.


How closely are folks checked when they go into malls etc in the USA? my last visit was three years ago, but I wasn't checked then...

related item: Disneyland Orlando was a possible target, but the FBI ignored their complaints he was checking out the place in a suspicious manner.


His second wife knew about the planned attack: and only asked him not to do it. She is a US citizen. She is "cooperating" now... but don't expect people to forgive her from not reporting him.

Michael Totten has a take on the stupidity of politicians shouting about "banning guns" and "banning Muslims".

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