Posted by Abdel Kadz on Saturday, December 27, 2008 with 3 comments
I arrived home last night to find our door bolted. Usually, it’s just the doorknob that’s locked from the inside, which I don’t have a problem opening because I always have the house key with me on the lanyard of my company ID. But last night, two other locks that can only be opened by someone from inside our house were fastened in place. This is done if my cousin wanted to talk to me in person since when I reach home, they are already asleep. It could either be that he would ask for help, money issues or if he had some news, good or otherwise, that he wanted to say to me. He opening the door last night, I was soon to find out what it was, and it was bad.

A neighbor was shot, four times. When I say “neighbor,” I mean “neighbor” who lives just a few steps from our place. The shooting transpired around 8:00 pm when everybody was in their respective homes for dinner and to catch their favorite telenovelas. I was told that when it happened, he was sitting outside a neighbor’s sari-sari store, alone, all the more convenient for the culprits to carry out their evil deed. A shot to the neck, at the chest, and two at the back took his life and created a ruckus that soon instigated fear throughout the neighborhood.

I never really knew him, but I see him sitting on the bench outside the house that he was renting every morning when I go to work. He always had a smile on his face, something that he gave to people who were acquaintances, and every time I passed by his way, he wasn’t a bit selfish in sharing the sunny disposition he had. From what I gathered, he and his wife moved in about a month ago, going about their own business and living life as it came. Now what I see near the bench he always sat on is the mattress they owned and other personal things that I know the wife wouldn’t be returning to get.

It’s hard to fathom why anyone would have it in their conscience to take the life of another person--what drives them, the motives they have, the courage to carry out the deed, their low regard for life. Whatever gives them the right to do that and play God, to decide when a person is going to live is, perhaps, a question that would be an enigma to most. Our neighbor was just but one of the many people I know whose life was taken brutally away from them--My mayor grandfather died when the vehicle he was riding was strafed by unknown persons, a police uncle was shot on his way home to his wife and children, a cousin in the head on a vacant lot in Zamboanga, a friend stabbed and burned in his condo. Somehow, knowing what they went through, getting legal justice is a far cry in appeasing their souls.

I don’t know until when the gravity of the situation would be upped to placate the grief and growing uneasiness felt by most of us in the neighborhood. It takes some time with something like this tragic happening, especially to someone you know. Already, people in the nearest vicinity are closing and locking their doors when nightfall comes. But for our neighbor, even if his life was short lived, I know it’s a different thing altogether, for he is about to open Somebody else’s door, and he doesn't need keys or open locks to walk in through.