'Culture of violence' to blame for crime wave?

Posted at 10/19/11 12:50 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The recent spate of crimes involving families, friends and partners in the country may be blamed on the culture of violence in society, according to a sociologist.

“Nagsisimula lahat ‘yan sa kultura ng karahasan. Unang-una, mga toy guns. Number 2, lahat ng mga video games ngayon ay mayroong element of killing. Mayroon tayong karahasan sa TV, karahasan sa sine, karahasan sa musika,” said Bro. Clifford Sorita.

Sorita dispelled theories by the police that the recent crime wave was caused by the high number of loose firearms.

“Ang baril ay tool lang ‘yan,” added Sorita.

According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), there are currently 1.5 million licensed firearms in the country.

The number of loose firearms, on the other hand, is roughly around 1 million, according to an intelligence report estimate.

Senior Superintendent Regino Catiis from the Licensing Division of the PNP Firearms & Explosives Office said firearms used in recent crimes were unregistered.

“Itong mga ito ay loose firearms. They are not registered. You cannot really see kung saan nanggaling itong mga ito,” he said.

Most recent is an incident involving a former policeman in Tondo who shot his mother dead before turning the gun on himself.

Police are still investigating if the firearm used in the incident was the ex-cop’s service firearm.

In Cebu, a man identified as Emmanuel Ponce shot himself dead with a .45 caliber pistol last Sunday, after shooting his wife, his 3 children, and his neighbor.

Last week, a grade 5 student accidentally shot his classmate in the neck with a caliber .22 pistol.

Sorita added that a culture of violence will not thrive if children are raised in a violence-free environment.

Sorita said parents should not only guide their children on what to watch on television and on the internet, but more importantly, parents should lead by example. -- Report from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News