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Tragic Tragedy

What makes a tragedy more tragic?

A 23-year-old woman is now in critical condition after being shot in the head early Wednesday morning after she attempted to wrestle her laptop away from a thief in Cainta, Rizal.

from GMANews.TV

I first found out about this woman last week in one of the threads in philmug. My office mates and I were talking about commuting scares when I mentioned this particular story. I was surprised to find out that an office mate of mine actually knew the victim.

Her name is Tara Santelices, a graduate from the Ateneo. She’s 23 years old, lives in Brookside Hills in Cainta and works for an NGO.

The story became a person.

Another philmug thread directed me to this blog which tells a more detailed, more personal side of the story.

Isinalaysay ni Joee ang tunay na nangyari. Birthday ni Tara ng Agosto 6. Nag-text sa kanya si Tara na magkita sa “Burger King” sa Marcos Highway. Galing pa si Joee sa CSB, Taft Ave. Napagkasunduan nilang hintayin ang 12:00 ng madaling araw upang ipagdiwang ang 23 kaarawan ni Tara. Matapos ang 12:00 ng madaling araw ay sumakay sila ng dyip pauwi ng Cainta, Rizal. Sila lang ang sakay ng dyip. Pahinto-hinto ang dyip upang magsakay ng pasahero. Hanggang may isang lalaki na sumakay sa dyip na umupo sa tabi ni Tara sa bandang hulihan. Pababa ang lalaki ng agawin ang bag ni Tara. Naghatakan sila sa bag. Nakarinig na lang ng putok si Joee na nakaupo sa tabi ni Tara. Nang tingnan niya si Tara, ito pala ang nabaril at sa ulo mismo. Sinabi ni Joee sa driver na dalhin sila sa malapit na ospital. Bago pa sila makarating sa malapit na klinika ay binaba pa isa-isa ang mga pasahero. Halos isang oras bago sila nakarating. Pagkahatid sa klinika ay iniwan na sila ng drayber. Tinanggihan ng klinika na tanggapin si Tara dahil hindi nila kayang gamutin. Naghintay pa si Joee ng mahabang sandali upang tulungan sila ng mga nars na tumawag ng taxi at dalhin sa Eulogio “Amang ” Rodriguez Hospital si Tara. Isipin na lang na 5′ 2 ang taas ni Joee at siya pa ang nagbuhat kay Tara. Di na makausap ni Joee si Tara nang nasa EAR hospital. Tinawagan niya ang mga magulang ni Tara at kanyang mga magulang upang ipaalam ang mga pangyayari.

– from Little Miss Sunshine/CMB Girl

I commute with my laptop. Sometimes, during rush hour, I am forced to ride an FX or a jeepney but I was never comfortable. After hearing what happened to Tara, I now take a cab to and from work whenever I have my laptop with me. The extra cost doesn’t really matter–I’m not ashamed to admit that I got scared.

What affected me more than the crime was how the other people who witnessed what happened did nothing to help.  As the blogger pointed out, the jeepney driver had to drop off his passengers one by one on the way to the nearest clinic. I understand the other passengers didn’t want to be hassled but a woman’s life was at stake. Was it too much to expect them to sacrifice a bit of comfort so the victim could have been taken to the hospital faster?

What about the nurses at the clinic? The girl was shot in the head. What injury does one have to sustain to get service? Apparently, getting shot in the head wasn’t that big of an emergency. If they didn’t have the facilities, the least they could have done was administer some first aid.  The victim’s friend had to demand help from them to get her to another hospital. Talk about public service–those nurses should have their licenses revoked.

What makes a tragedy more tragic? Insensitivity. I’ve never expected such unsymphatetic attitude from other people in light of the circumstances. A woman was shot in the head. Kulang pa ba yun?

Categories: news, personal Tags: , ,
  1. Show-Ender
    August 12, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Just to let you know, RJUR also plugged this incident the day after, since she’s also a guitarist of Saffron Speedway (that’s what the DJ said). Pretty kind of them, huh?

    Anyway, the Santelices family should really file a case against that jeepney driver and that hospital. That girl was lucky; she should’ve been DOA by then!!

  2. clare
    August 13, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    i used to bring my laptop to work too, but even here in the province we’ve been hearing about holdups and such so my family advised me not to bring my laptop to work anymore. if my job wants me to use a laptop at the office, they’d better provide me one instead of me lugging my own around.

    grabe na ang crime these days, sobrang violent na talaga.

  3. August 15, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    I bring my laptop to work to so I can download mp3s using our free wifi at the office. I’ve never been comfortable commuting with it (and I’m a guy) so I always take a cab which, I think and hope, is much safer.

    Its so sad to hear about news like this. Minsan nga sa celfone palang nagkakamatayan na.

    The jeepney driver is an idiot! For all we know, he may be in cahoots with the guy who shot the girl.

    By the way, my officemate knows the victim personally.

    So senseless. So sad.

  4. August 16, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    @Show-Ender: I heard she is part of a band–they’re actually organizing some sort of fund raising for her.

    @clare: laptop theft’s been on the rise since laptops are easy to re-sell. If you ask me the authorities should also go after those who buy the stolen goods. Pag walang demand, hopefully wala na ring magnanakaw.

    @bam!: You took the words right out of my mouth. The jeepney driver is indeed an idiot. I’m guessing the driver and the other passengers acted that way kasi ayaw na nilang madamay. Hay naku naman talaga…remembering this just makes me so frustrated.

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