There are those who say 13 is an unlucky number. There are however others who think that 13 is a lucky number. It seems that the claim actually depends on what 13 stands for – for different reasons, in given occasions. One thing is very certain as recently brought about by some kind of a holocaust that caught the attention not only of national but also international tri-media: 13 stands for the downright murder of that number of individuals in a wanton, hideous and remorseless killings in Atimonan, Quezon.
Some said that it was occasioned by a “legitimate police operation.” Others proclaimed that it was an “overkill”, a “shootout”, or a “rubout” – if not an “ambush”. There were those who said that it was occasioned by the Jueteng and STL partnership. There were those who claimed that it was a matter of a “Gun for Hire” syndicate, a gold purchase or another business venture.
Whatever it was, 13 lives were horridly wiped away from the face of the earth, with the same number of families now grieving plus more relatives and friends weeping. One thing appears certain: There were in fact not only PNP officials but also AFP personnel who were involved the case. Another thing remains certain: There were many guns found in the place plus much more number of bullets that hit their targets – killing these as a matter of course. But one thing remains legally and ethically correct: “Everybody is presumed innocent until proven guilty.” And even the State itself has no death penalty law which was in fact recklessly imposed in the hideous event.
Specifically in conjunction with Jueteng, unless the vicious trio of avarice, anger, and pride comes to fore, Jueteng kills but neither that cruel nor that nonchalantly. Jueteng is definitely a very profitable and highly remorseless illegal numbers’ game run by callous gambling lords with their operators. Killings in Jueteng can happen such as by reason of territorial “invasions” and/or “dishonest” partition of “profits”.
The deadly and ignominious Atimonan-Quezon phenomenon has acquired an added dreadful and horrible dimension. This: Though not exactly approved for whatever reason, it seems that no less than Malacañang knew of the venture as far back as October last year. In other words, the PAOCC was long previously informed of the plan. And while it did not approve it, neither did it disapproved or stopped. Why, oh, why?
There is something much deeper, more ominous and wherefore truly sinister about the inglorious Atimonan-Quezon episode. And considering that nothing less than a “presidential” agency knew but did nothing to stop it, it is in order than an equal branch of government do its own inquiry for purpose of legislation.