"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Has Apathy Consumed Filipinos?


Tara Bosch Santelices after a long painful struggle to recover from the fatal wounds inflicted by the criminal robber passed away at 4:00 AM, Monday July 27, 2009 a few days short of her 24th birthday of cardiac arrest on her hospital bed at the Medical City in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

Cainta police reported the killing of the suspected gunman Orlando del Rosario in a shoot-out with the police closed the case. The family is appealing to the National Bureau of Investigation to revive the case due to the disparities on the description and sketches of eyewitnesses with the suspect gunned down by the Cainta police.

Justice for Tara Bosch Santelices

If we look at how evil prevail in the realm of politics maybe it is true that Filipinos has been numbed to apathy out of desperation and hopelessness.

While it may be true to some degree in terms of apathy towards politics, the Filipinos in general are a compassionate caring people. Unfortunately there are revolting incidents that makes one doubt if indeed we as a people have been consumed by the numbing display of apathy to the point of losing our compassion and humanity.

Has it been this bad that when we see a victim of violence because said victim was a stranger, it does not affect us anymore that we just go about our daily lives ignoring the fatal consequence of our revolting inaction? I am sure if we see our sister, daughter, mother or even a distant acquaintance, when we see that she is being assaulted while some may not necessarily ward off the attacker, most if not all will heroically risk their lives to save a damsel in distress. There is no doubt that we will definitely do our best even move mountains to rush her into a hospital especially if it was a matter of life or death emergency.

This is not the case in Tara Bosch Santelices incident, a promising creative young woman about to reach her prime and potential on the eve of her 23rd birthday now fighting for her life in a coma in the ICU of Medical City Hospital in Pasig City, attached to a respirator machine. A victim of armed robbery shot in the left forehead shattering her skull and dreams of a promising life of creativity as a musical artist (lead guitarist of Saffron Speedway) and budding Indie film director. Tara Bosch Santelices went to Assumption Antipolo Batch 2003 and Ateneo de Manila University’s graduate Class of 2007, AB Political Science.

The incident is just so agonizingly revolting that it makes one wonder if indeed people have been consumed by morbid coldness akin to modern day savagery of the asphalt jungle seen only in fiction movies, yet so surreal and agonizingly happening in real life. Here is a quote from the account of Chito Irigo on the incident:

TaraBoschSantelicesTara Santelices, 23 years old graduate of the Ateneo de Manila was shot in a robbery-hold up incident inside a passenger jeep along Felix Ave. Cainta, Rizal. She was on her way home past midnight (August 6, 2008, about 12:30 AM) with a friend coming from a night out on the eve of her 23rd birthday.

Somewhere along a dark stretch of Felix Ave. near Karangalan Village, a man posing as a passenger, pulled a gun and announced a hold-up. The man grabbed Tara's bag. Instinctively, Tara held on to her bag and in the ensuing struggle, the man shot Tara and hit her on the left side of her forehead. After getting the bag of the others, the man jumped off the passenger jeep. Tara's companion, who has never been in that situation asked for help from the other passengers, and told the driver to bring them to the nearest hospital, as blood was already spurting out of Tara's head. But instead of driving speedily to the nearest medical facility, the driver drove as if it was one of his regular trips, even stopping three times to unload a passenger. Of the five or six other passengers, only one bothered to help Tara's friend carry her. The rest just went about their business as if nothing serious happened. In fact some of the passengers even opted to stop the vehicle for them to get off, wasting precious time for medical attention. The driver eventually took them to a small clinic. But even as Tara's companion was talking to a medical personnel in that small clinic, the driver drove-off leaving them to look for a taxi to bring Tara to a better equipped hospital. Tara was given the appropriate medical attention only about four hours later. The police went to the hospital to talk to the witness (Tara's friend) only a day later.

One must be as cold as an unfeeling zombie, an animal monster actually without shame or remorse that has no regard for the sanctity of human life. So irrational and perverted beyond description to see that there are people in this planet so low and revolting to act like this in dire emergency situation.

Why in heavens name did the jeepney driver acted irrationally? Has the Cainta Police even bothered to look for the driver for questioning and gather information that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of the cold blooded criminal? Why did the passengers opt to get off their destinations knowing that every second of delay lessens her chances of survival? Or are they so moronic that these passengers would rather be in the comfort of their homes with no remorse whatsoever of the consequence of their stupidity? Criminals will be criminals and you expect them to commit heinous crimes thus you want them apprehended and not wreck havoc on society. But to see “law abiding citizens” acting in this numbing apathy is definitely unacceptable, they are worse than the criminals, a shame to all mankind.

This horrific incident really tests our mettle on seeing the innate goodness of man as blogger Kalamnan pointed out:

Faced with these terrible consequences, I find myself questioning the optimistic counsel R left me with. Should the life of a person be taken just so you can feed yourself? Your family? Your whims? What good is there in taking - be it be money or a bag or a laptop… Or the wife of your neighbor… Or a life?

How does that help you? How does that make your existence better? How does that make your reality and your reasons right?

I do not want to relinquish my belief that people are innately good. We are all created in His image, guided by His hand and heart. But please…


As if this incident is not contemptible enough this GMA News Report came up with this callous title “Robber shoots lady who refused to give up laptop” in what looks like a crude attempt at sensationalism that has the effect of unwittingly blaming the victim. A shallow attempt and yet did not even dig deeper on the circumstance after the crime. Was it because this kind of cold numbing apathy is so common that it is not newsworthy enough?

We can let Tara Bosch Santelices and other victims of crime suffer yet another numbing apathy and let her and her family suffer in pain alone or we can act now by calling the attention of our lawmakers to enact laws so that tragic event like these do not occur again. We can also call on the law enforcement agencies to step up their investigation and there is a petition that we can sign here.

If you want to contribute to a fund for Tara’s recovery, here are the details:

Anne Marie F. Santelices, Banco de Oro, SA 2140-062201. For direct cash donations, please proceed to the ICU Waiting Room of the Medical City (Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City). Please look for Joee Mejias or Lila Santelices.

Lastly, please let everyone you know about the plight of Tara Bosch Santelices, by emailing this or writing a blog about it or any other way to raise awareness on the issue of public safety in public transportation, she needs all the support she can get at this point and sometimes miracle do happen when good people wish and pray for her speedy recovery.

For inquiries, please contact Joee Mejias (09228154987) for calls and Jac Ledonio (09167243071) or Myka Francisco (09163695148) for text messages.

Subscribe in a reader
Pedestrian Observer Group Blog
Click on the images to receive your free email updates
POGB will not sell, exchange, use or allow any 3rd party access to your email for
any other purposes without exception, email exclusively for article updates only.

8 Speak Out:

Related Posts with Thumbnails