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Vengeance is mine

Who is Jesus?thought a driver and shot a cyclist in Quiapo (link). I witnessed an incident in Munich years ago which started similarly. Driver and cyclist disagree on who cut whom. It happened in the Schlachthofviertel (slaughterhouse quarter) which is part of the district of Isarvorstadt where I live. Just near the river Isar, formerly a poor man’s district subject to regular flooding, but slowly gentrifying. But it was working class people who kept the two men from going too far. And the young man on the bike did not fight with the driver who grabbed him after some verbal conflict – he shouted “Ausweis”, meaning national ID. This means “give me your ID so we can call the cops”. Three things worked well in that incident. First of all, the traditional mentality of working class Munich – any disorder in one’s quarter is everybody’s business. Second, the rule of law in people’s heads which cause the young man to say “Ausweis”. Third, strict gun controls. Legally it is nearly impossible for people to get guns in Germany – last Friday’s massacre I will return to later. But it was not the working men of the Schlachthofviertel who killed last Friday, men who kill on a daily basis. Men who kill animals for a living. Nor was it policemen, who indeed “summarily executed” a raging bull that escaped some years ago, and also a cow which ran up to the Oktoberfest grounds and hurt a few passersby on the sidewalk.

Back to the Quiapo shooting (link). Nobody tried to stop the two from fighting. Even after the shooting someone just passed by. Used to be that in more traditional Philippines there was such a thing as “awat” – people stopping quarrels, although it usually had to be people both sides knew not strangers.  Nobody called the cops, although I don’t know if they would have come on time if at all. Or if people trust the cops or are afraid they might shoot them also. Maybe someone did, later on. Somehow the two men did not manage to stop by themselves in Manila, or in Munich – testosterone at work. Raging bulls.

All people have an animal inside them. Some more and some less, and also dependent on mood and things that alter them like alcohol – or drugs which are a rising problem in the entire world. Social cohesion and rule of law prevent that animal from causing too much damage. Social cohesion seems to have broken down in Metro Manila especially, which does not surprise me given that all cities with more than 10 million people have special issues – Tokyo is a notable exception but the Japanese have strong social cohesion and self-discipline plus they are highly organized.

Last Friday, David S. went on a rampage. “Vengeance was his” too (link) and he used the “Darknet” (link) to get a gun. Inspite of some difficult moments, by and large the city stuck together. There was no harrassment of anyone by police or residents, not even of the shooter’s Iranian father who went to the police when he saw his son on a viral video. There was some tension and still is, but there is no widespread looking for culprits, no calls for more blood to be shed. Cardboard was used for another purpose over here (link) – to cheer up a city in a state of shock at what happened.

Munich is not a city that will be destroyed by human rights, I think. We usually don’t fear each other or the police. Respect each other and the police – YES. Fear destroys respect and cooperation. Maybe Filipinos don’t respect each other anymore and know just fear, at least many in the cities.  Looking at the Quiapo shooting scene, I ask myself – where is the humanity in the Philippines? Seems the drug problem is huge and was ignored for years, but indeed crime has risen so the shortcut solutions of today are preferred. Could the rich/poor gap (even physically) be one reason?

There are rich and poor in Munich, but no ghettos and no gated communities. The city in fact as policy tries to mingle groups, which in my observation keeps some grounded and some disciplined – one example is a recent witnessed clean-up of balconies in an apartment block which neighbors saw as an eyesore. Heavy use of public transport also leads to mingling of different groups of people on a daily basis, even if they sometimes don’t really like each other. But just seeing the other is HUMAN helps – in not hating each other. And a system that dispenses justice, not vengeance.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 27. July 2016

 

 

6 comments to Vengeance is mine

  • pelang

    tinanong ko rin si mister, bakit siya nakikialam sa bahay ng may bahay, hindi rin naman sila nakikialam sa atin? ang sabi niya, gusto mo bang makikita na sila lang ang naiba? lahat naman, naglilinis sa paligid, sila hindi. tama ang sabi mo. pwedeng maging pulis ang bawat citizen. kaya mahirap lumabag sa batas ang mga citizens ng mga developed countries katulad sa germany. kaya agad nadadakip ang mga kriminal dito. example na lang, iyong nangyari sa Nice, France, Sa Würzburg ang lalaking nanaksak sa train at saka sa München. sa atin, kahit na maraming witness, sila pa ang tatakutin. at saka karamihan pa, mga pulis ang culprit, mga abusadong politicians katulad ni Amapatuan. Nakakapangilabot.

    • sonny

      Ang tinatawag na “continental” temperament ay tunay na naiiba sa American temperament. Mas suwabe ang mga aksyon ng mga Europeo, generally speaking. Ang “black & white thinking” ng mga amerikano sa mga maraming bagay ay hindi makakaila. Humahanga ako sa ating mga kababayan na nag-‘settle’ na sa mga iba-ibang banyagang kultura ng Europa. Nangingibabaw sa paghangang ito ay ang pagsalita ng mga iba-ibang languages ng Europa.

      • Madugo talaga kasi ang kasaysayan ng Europe, sa sikip dito hindi ka pati makakailag. Kahit sa mga pangyayari doon sa Middle East. Ang driving distance from Damascus to Munich 35 hours, Davao to Manila 31 hours, Chicago to LA 30 hours…

        Iilang oras lang ang distansiya ng Munich to Zagreb. Maraming mga napadpad dito na tumakbo sa matinding gyera doon. Pero meron din daw mga migranteng nakigulo mula dito, isang sakay lang sa night train nandoon ka na. Ang Amerikano, may sariling continent na madaling isara. Kaya hindi gaanong natuwa ang mga taga-Europe sa gyera mula pa kay mag-amang Bush dahil alam na apektado ang Europe, Amerika hindi gaano. Halu-halo rito sa Munich ang mga iba’t-ibang lahi at salita, baka talo na ngayon pati Chicago.

    • Kung malinis ang kapaligiran, malinis na rin ang kalooban. Mas masipag ako halimbawa magtrabaho kapag walang gaanong kalat sa mesa ko… kaya siguro kung nag-surrender na rin ang maraming mga adik, doon sila pakinabangan sa paglinis ng mga barangay nila… kasi kapag pangit ang paligid mas madaling ma-depress ang mga tao tapos kung anu-ano pang kalokohan ang naiisip – kaya hindi na masyadong nagtatayo halimbawa ng mga high-rise housing na halos lahat mahirap, dahil nagiging drugs and crime-ridden sila. Merong isang model community na itinayo ang Munich sa dating trade fair grounds, halu-halong mga apartment para sa iba’t-ibang income groups. Pati community center para sa mga young people (lalo na para sa mga mahihirap ang magulang) para meron silang magawa na matino at hindi sila mapunta sa anu-anong bisyo. Nagkamali rin dito noon sa iilang mga parte ng siyudad, matagal bago naayos ang sitwasyon, hindi naman umabot sa ghetto talaga pero ayaw na rin ng taongbayan na maulit ang ganoon.

      • sonny

        Ang salot ng ‘drug addiction’ ay tunay na naiiba sa lahat na ‘social problem.’ Ang perang nasasangkot ay mahirap mahindian lalo na sa mga wala ring ibang pagkakakitaan ng sapat na hanapbuhay. The drug wars sa PH ay tulad ng kawalan ng ikabubuhay sa pang-arawaraw noong panahon ng hapon. Guerilla warfare was the only choice during the Japanese occupation because this kind of war had no identifiable fronts. Every side was a front or an arena of conflict and correction. Our society has to draw from traditional sources of loyalty and cohesion to keep some semblance of law and order. There seems to be little difference between the manner of correction by conventional police forces here in the US and in PH that use the iron-fisted methods by an authoritarian executive or police-delegated forces. From preventive education to direct intervention by force there must be ad hoc groups available to do triage decisions and deploy commando-like tactical intervention.

  • pelang

    That is true. In Germany you don’t notice the ultra rich like you do in America, for example. In the area where i live, some neighbors are industrialists but have modest homes. But i know they have several houses in Switzerland, America and elsewhere. It’s just that, they don’t flaunt their wealth. (I think, they are afraid, their employees would ask for a raise, if they keep on displaying their wealth. LOL!). While a neighboring Mehrfamilienhaus live across them who are low-income families and social beneficiaries. But nobody is bothered by them because their house sorroundings are well-kept and clean. Just a few months ago, their sorroundings have over-grown hedges and lawn with high grass. My husband called the social authorities about it and minutes later, a truck with 2 or 3 workers came with lawn mowers, electric hedgecutter, and gathered the grass after. In 30 min. it looked clean again.

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