Reynaldo De Guzman
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: 14
  • Occupation: STUDENT
Incident Details
  • Found dead in public
  • Date of Incident: September 6, 2017
  • Location of Incident: Gapan City, Nueva Ecija

It used to be an innocent sounding word. “Pattern” is nothing more than a trend, guide, sample, a word that meant, “following established procedures.”

Yes, it was a harmless term until a fortnight ago. Two teenage boys were found shot and killed within a span of a few days. Police said the first one – Kian de los Santos – was a drug dealer, the second – Carl Angelo Arnaiz – a holdupper.

Last Wednesday Reynaldo de Guzman, only 14 years old and a fifth grader, was found hundreds of kilometers away in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, with 30 stab wounds. Neighbors in Taytay, Rizal, said he was with the second victim on the night both disappeared.

Media quoted medico-legal officials as saying the killing of the two victims followed a “pattern” – bullets were pumped into their young body while in a crouching position, and they showed signs of torture.

The chief of police of Gapan also told media interviews by phone that the body of pre-teen De Guzman also showed marks of torture.

The phrase, “there is a pattern in those killings” was quoted by media, a remark PAO officials later denied having said during a Senate hearing last week.

But it did not prevent Sen. Riza Hontiveros from confronting PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa about the “similarities,” thus a pattern, in the killing by suspected policemen of Delos Santos and Arnaiz. And maybe that of De Guzman too.

“There is no pattern here,” said the emotional top cop, while shedding copious tears. Nor, was there an “order” from the higher ups about the so-called “extra-judicial killing.”

And the only instance that police fire their guns is when the identified criminal engaged lawmen in a shoot-out, he said. “Nanlaban” is the police term for that.

Curiously, the shoot-outs that snuffed out the young lives of Kian and Carl, and maybe that of Rey, were engaged by policemen assigned in Caloocan City.

Earlier, a police precinct in that northern Metro Manila city was given “the best police precinct” award by the PNP. I am sure the wall or table that displayed the plaque or trophy of that citation is now empty.

With these scenarios, it looks like some Filipinos have become ultra imaginative. They find ways of associating the police anti-crime pattern with political ramifications.

For example, incumbent officials who are branded as “oppositionists” bythe Duterte administration are being charged in court for various criminal offenses, or threatened with impeachment, in the case of those holding Constitutional positions.

Thus, in consonance with the firing-line pattern that began with the incarceration of Sen. Leila de Lima, it appears to be followed by Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, and then Comelec head Andy Bautista. Sen. Antonio Trillanes and Sen. Franklin Drilon may be next. Can Vice President LeniRoberedo be far behind?

Then comes the appointment rejection pattern in the Commission on Appointments. First to be cast out was Sec. Gina Lopez, followed by Sec. Judy Taguiwalo, and the latest, Sec. Rafael Mariano.

Newspaper opinion writers and coffee club pundits swear prospects of the banging sound of the chopping block will continue to hound the Cabinet. Media practitioners of yore called this pattern “Cabinet rigodon.”

And finally – come to think of it – even President Duterte has a regular pattern in the substance of his speeches, especially those delivered extemporaneously while visiting military camps and provincial commands of the PNP.

“I will double your salary, you will have better housing facilities, your children will have access to scholarship programs of government educational institutions, and I will put more food on your dining table.

“And more importantly, no one will go to jail in pursuant of your duties exercised while waging our war on illegal drugs.”

Tags: Elinando B. Cinco, Manila, Manila news, Page twelve, Philippine news, ‘The pattern’