I Shake Hands with a Murderer!

Left off yesterday’s post with Cousin Alex, who my wife had just pointed out to me at the feast that was being held for her dearly departed Tita (Aunt), saying something to my asawa about “500 pesos.”  Alex, who was out on bail for murdering a man in Guimaras, was the construction crew chief for “The Compound” when it was originally built over 12 years ago. He looked completely different to me than the last time I saw him over a year ago when he dropped by our residence late one evening after being released from jail.
jail

Several years ago a man was owed 20 pesos (about 46 cents) by Alex’s daughter, Bambi. The man came to Alex’s home in Guimaras when he wasn’t home  and held a knife to Bambi’s throat demanding the money. He then threatened Alex’s wife’s with the bolo. 

Now I don’t know about you,  but if someone would threaten my wife or one of my children (if I had any), I would undoubtedly  be very angry and  prone to do something  extremely rash. Alex did. He shot the man. Killed him. Fled Guimaras. The authorities took his wife into custody in lieu of holding Alex prisoner. This isn’t America. The local authorities can pretty much do anything they want.  Unless you pay them off.

Several years ago a man was owed 20 pesos (about 46 cents) by Alex’s daughter, Bambi. The man came to Alex’s home in Guimaras when he wasn’t home  and held a knife to Bambi’s throat demanding the money. He then threatened Alex’s wife’s with the bolo. 

The Philippines Expat Advisor - I Shake Hands with a Murderer!

Now I don’t know about you,  but if someone would threaten my wife or one of my children (if I had any), I would undoubtedly  be very angry and  prone to do something  extremely rash. Alex did. He shot the man. Killed him. Fled Guimaras. The authorities took his wife into custody in lieu of holding Alex prisoner. This isn’t America. The local authorities can pretty much do anything they want.  Unless you pay them off.

Alex eventually returned to Guimaras, his wife was released from the local jail,  and my wife’s cousin was sent to prison in Manila to await his trial. He was in jail for about five years waiting for his case to be tried when his former employer suddenly paid his bail so he could be released.

The night my wife’s cousin dropped by “The Compound” I gave him 500 pesos (11.44 US Dollars.) He had just gotten out of prison, and though I certainly do not agree with how he handled the situation by taking another man’s life,  I sympathized with him, plus I was worried that he would discover we had already hired a crew to construct our new CR (Comfort Room). I  really did not want to upset this man in any way. He never returned to our home after that night.

So when I heard Alex, as I went over  to shake hands with him, mention something about  “500 pesos” I thought he was asking my asawa for money. “No”, my wife told me later. He had just said that “you thought ‘he’ (referring to me, of course) would recognize someone ‘he’ gave 500 pesos to.” Alex remains out on bail. Frankly, he’s someone that you would  not want to mess with.  I don’t plan to.

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

13 thoughts on “I Shake Hands with a Murderer!

  1. Dave…….sounds like a long time to sit in jail and still not trial{ Fillipino time on all things looks like }..so his ordeal is not over with yet. If what you said was true about why he did what he did, then maybe many under the same conditions would do the same.I also find strange but sure it happens there, that if they can not find the one who per say broke the law, then they just grab some family memeber and hold them hostage in the local jail untill they can find the other person who did the crime…interesting…

    1. I guess there is no constitutional guarantee to a speedy trial, Dan. The justice system is definitely on Filipino Time. Yeah, I was surprised when they took Alex’s wife into jail in his stead. As stated in the article, many officials can pretty much do what they want to here. Nobody is going to read you your “rights” before you get arrested.

      1. A lawyer could probably have gotten Alex’s wife out of jail right away, but the problem is that a lot of Filipinos can’t afford a lawyer. Guess there is no free Legal Aid there.

        1. There are several websites that offer free legal advice, Lance. This one, , looks promising, but I think in Guimaras we have very limited options for those types of services. A peso bribe would have been the quickest way to get Alex out of jail.

  2. Thanks, John, for the input. I certainly can understand how my wife’s cousin reacted, and would probably have reacted in a similar fashion. Yep, he has been crapped on. He’s been out on bail for over a year after already waiting in jail for five years and still no word on when the trial will be held. I personally think he should not be charged for 1st degree murder, just a lesser manslaughter charge. His demeanor has certainly changed since his time in prison from when I first met him over 10 years ago, but under the circumstances I can understand why.

  3. Quite a group of relatives …you have there Dave……I bet family gatherings are never dull…..maybe a good idea……to use plastic silverware only…..at these get togethers

  4. It also works both ways with the Police, Dave. Believe it or not, if a Police officer accidentally kills someone even in the line of duty, he is also thrown into prison until bail is arranged. And heavens forbid that he would need a lawyer, because that will come out of his pocket also. Police union is non-existent in PI.

    I hope your wife’s cousin get off. There is still justice in the RP, but only if you can afford it.

    1. Christine

      Thats really sad that a policeman is put in jail for killing someone in the line of duty. Being in law enforcement myself, i don’t really see how you could do your job. You would be scared to protect yourself.

    2. Didn’t know that Christine, tragic incidents do happen if someone is in law enforcement, but to put the officer in jail is very disturbing to me. It would be hard to do your job effectively without that hanging over your head.

      Hope Alex gets off, too, under the circumstances, I think the five years he has already done while waiting for his trial is punishment enough.

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