Deep breaths

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez - The Freeman

This guy really had nowhere to run. Vhon Tanto, the principal suspect in the fatal shooting of Mark Vincent Geralde, was apprehended last Friday in Masbate. After ditching his car in Nueva Vizcaya, he tried to mislead authorities into thinking he was on his way back to Manila, as mentioned by his brother-in-law with whom he left his car.

He did not put up a fight, as is the apparent case with most of the drug pushers apprehended by police. There are those who would rather he did put up a fight, or try to grab a police officer's firearm. We all know what happens next, right? He should consider himself lucky enough to be given due process. Many did not have a chance at all.

When he was presented to the public, he still had a very "black eye" from the fistfight he had with Geralde. Based on the CCTV, Geralde was able to land a solid punch to his face. This is probably what triggered his rage. He was humiliated. So in cowardly fashion, he goes back to his car, grabs his unlicensed firearm and shoots Geralde, not once, not twice but four times. A stray bullet then hits Rocel Bondoc, a student and scholar of the city of Manila. She is still recuperating from her injury. We thank God she was not killed.

Tanto now faces several criminal cases, including murder, frustrated murder, and cases having to do with owning and discharging unlicensed firearms.

The initial reports that Tanto was an Army reservist was debunked by the Philippine Army, since he was no longer attending official activities related to being a reservist. But he sure felt as if he was invincible.

Only an abusive person in authority would think of carrying an unlicensed firearm in public. Tanto fits the bill perfectly.

The CCTV camera that caught the crime earned its keep, highlighting the importance of having more of these around the country. Without the video, Tanto would probably be scot-free, especially when someone else was initially suspected of the crime. It turns out the information was wrong, much to the chagrin of the falsely accused. A closer inspection of the CCTV footage confirmed the correct conduction sticker of Tanto's vehicle.

Road rage has claimed many victims, mostly those unarmed, helpless, at the receiving end of a coward with a gun.

PNP Chief Gen. Dela Rosa had some advice to motorists when the rage starts to build up - deep breaths. Good advice. Although his other comment of teaching Tanto how to box is something everyone could do without. Even if said in jest, the incident is a serious one where Geralde was brutally murdered.

So Geralde's skills in a fight did him in? I don't see it that way. Tanto had a gun that he was ready to use in a situation such as this one, whether he wins or loses in a fistfight.

The black eye he sustained was salt on his ego, which he responded with deadly lead.    

The PNP should be wary of the many other "Vhon Tantos" of this country - those who feel the need to carry a firearm even without the required permits and licenses. Those who feel entitled, those who are in some form of authority, whether official or not, those who feel they know someone who can get them out of any trouble.

These are the dangerous persons indeed. Let us hope that with this latest incident of road rage, all of us will think of the consequences once that firearm is discharged.

And yes, deep breaths everyone. At all times, in all situations.

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