A U.S. Marine Was No Match To The Machete Culture of the Pinoys!

It is tragic that an unarmed and inactive  U.S. Marine and a husband of U.S. diplomat got beaten up and stabbed to death by  3 Filipino businessmen and a student in an upscale BelAir Makati Village, early Saturday morning.  Major George Anikow, 41, died in a hospital, a victim of Pinoys’  “machete culture,”   a culture which resolves conflict through mayhem.

It was not enough that the victim was handicapped, 4-1; his  assailants were much younger and armed; pursued the fleeing soldier until he was down. They never have the slightest concept of  a fair fight, “mano a mano,”  only  a full grasp of “machete” mentality.

For a while, you might think that such incident could only happen in a much depressed area like Tondo.  But Filipinos’ proclivity towards macho machete taste had its long beginning in the enclaves of the rich and the influential.  It is not the preserve of the hoi polloi class who kill to fill an empty stomach.

The Maguindanao massacre in 2009 of 57  unarmed civilians including some 30 members of the press was perpetrated by a powerful political clan in Mindanao.  Tacked into that  the ‘murders’ committed by wartime President Jose P. Laurel and post-war President, Ferdinand Marcos.

Or the reported murder or suicide (depending on your source) of movie matinee idol Alfie Anido in 1981, or the death of  high school student Ernest Lucas; or a businessman allegedly in the hands of the son of a very powerful martial law architect, Juan Ponce Enrile, or in the hands of  Jackie’s bodyguards, depending on your source.

On steamier side, the death of 11 members of the Kuratong Baleleng Gang in 1999, and publicist, Bubby Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito in 2001 were reportedly engineered by a very powerful anti-crime czar and now a politician.

Or the murder of Ninoy Aquino in 1983  by  persons in uniform; —  General Ver, Colonel Custodio or even President Marcos himself.

Or was not Navy Ensign Philip Pestaño murdered in 1995 on orders of his superiors in the Philippine Navy?

The most audacious crimes in the country were perpetrated by the very people in the corridors of power who were supposed to be the guardians of  “the rule of law.”  Is it any wonder that some moneyed people in the country  get the idea that they too can murder with impunity?

The death of George Anikow in the hands of three (3) spoiled businessmen and a cohort student fits very well into our “machete culture.”

Many would flail their hands in protest against this  violent typecasting and declare themselves as law-abiding and peace-loving creatures.  We are hypersensitive to being called “pikon” if not outright barbaric, even in the light of local data which say that we are ignoble savages.  The worst that a foreigner can get into is a bar-brawl with Pinoys. The locals do not end a conflict with handshakes.  They will wait up in the dark alley and plant a knife at your back as you leave.

  “(H)uman story carries an ironic sting: the more successful human beings became at defending themselves against nonhuman predators, the more dangerous they become to one another.  Eventually, our ancestors forced to contend with a killer that was vastly more formidable, and diabolically intelligent and ruthless than the lions and hyenas, had to defend themselves against one another. “(Psychologist  David Smith,  The Most Dangerous Animal).

But George Anikow was not in a war zone; nor Makati area a piece of Gaza strip, Baghdad or Peshawar region.  He was few paces away from his home when he comes across with the abhorrent Filipino “machete culture.”

The “barumbado” (stubborn for wrong reason) attitude of the Filipinos was not only promoted by the movie bandit icons, Asiong Salonga and Nardong Putik, they were also promoted by people whom we look up to for leadership.

“Once the stature of Ferdinand’s (Marcos) father was confirmed, a number of other riddles were solved: How young Ferdinand eluded a murder conviction in his schooldays. How a place came to be waiting for him in a brotherhood Filipinos referred to as the Ilocano Mafia, whose prewar enterprises were said to include smuggling, extortion, black marketeering, and murder-for-hire. And how, after the war, Ferdinand became a young congressman with extraordinary connections in the Chinese financial world, using his position in Congress to extort large sums from Chinese businessmen. The leverage of his father’s clan enabled Ferdinand to ally himself secretly with agents of the Chiang regime, with Japanese underworld syndicates, and with some big-time American operators. His constituency soon floated like a huge jellyfish through the islands, trailing its tentacles everywhere. ” (Marcos Dynasty, Sterling Seagrave, p. 6).

Justice Jose P. Laurel lobbied his colleagues in the Supreme Court to have Marcos acquitted, thinking perhaps that the young lawyer has been infected by the same “machete culture” he has imbibed in his own younger years.

“Laurel was an extraordinary character. He first came to public attention in 1909 at the age of eighteen when he stabbed a man in a fight over a girl. Convicted of murder, he defended himself successfully in an appeal before the Supreme, which agreed that he had acted in self-defense.   (ibid, p. 45-6).

One source said that Laurel had a serious crush on a young Tanauan girl who  already had  a boyfriend. The two lovers were walking in a park one day but from behind, Laurel approached the girl, kissed her and ran.  At another time, the boyfriend saw Laurel in a gathering and tried to approach Laurel, but he was ready with his “fan knife” of which Batangas was famous of and stabbed him.  That he was acquitted for the crime is  like the situation of O.J. Simpson being acquitted for the murder of his ex-wife and his boyfriend.

Observed the New York Times:  “To be convicted of a crime in the Philippines is almost to be convicted of  lacking influence.”

19 thoughts on “A U.S. Marine Was No Match To The Machete Culture of the Pinoys!

  1. Nice closing line.

    But in fairness, regarding the case at the beginning, the marine major, was himself acting out a form of machete culture. He was drunk and had been harassing the security guard at the entry gate to his housing community. The four young men, not underprivileged young men, were minding their own business while entering the compound when the major tapped on the glass of their auto, provoking the incident. The choice of the young men was to deal with the major, who was unrelenting in challenging them, or drive off, shamed by a drunk hell bent on humiliating them. I feel sad for the major’s family. But it was his poor behavior that led to the trouble. Yes, the boys deserve punishment. But it was not a case of pre-meditated murder. Self defense? Mmmm, just anger gone over the top. So I feel sorry for the boys, too. They did not start the trouble, and it is hard to think straight in the flare of emotions.

    There are a lot of thugs in the Philippines, I agree. But it seems to me this incident was not of that kind.

  2. As an expat living in Rockwell the more time I spend here the easier it is to see why this is and will continue to be a 3rd world country. Shiny malls, international restaurants and modern condo buildings doesn’t move you into the 1st world. Justice, education, law & order and respect for human rights is what makes you a civilized society.

    • I’ve found it helpful to look it as a progression that the Philippines is on, about 50 years behind the rest of the world. Recollect that the U.S. was a racist society for 200 years before it started doing something serious about it. The Philippines has been a fractured democracy for its entire history. More than anything it needs stability so that the piecemeal improvements add up to something, and are not torn back to the old way. (In other words, elect Binay in 2016 at your own risk. heh)

  3. That unfortunate incident should not have happened if the sentry guard had done his job by asking for ID and unit number and contacted the residency by phone, but no he used his minute power and authority as a security guard towards a drunk and on foot bum or homeless he presumed.

    It should not have happened if the four young men were not looking for a fight or excitement thinking they had an easy pry to get away with, a drunk, homeless bum on foot.

    I find it funny the Dept. of Foreign Affair spokesman said the killing appeard to be an “isolated incident” not targeted at any one in particular.

    There are two laws…rich man law and poor man law.

  4. Filipinos cannot and do not rely much on the justice system, the main reason they got easily frustrated, and simply apply the law themselves the manner they know, either by keeping quiet, or to get the score even…the latter happened most ot the time though.

    By and large, we are no different from other race. Atrocities in former Yugoslavia and Middle East in recent times and the ones perpetrated by Germany, Italy and Japan in WW 2, are beyond compare. Americans and British were savage once before…or still.

    The bottom line, violence is not the answer to any dispute.

  5. Sad but very true! The saddest part until now is that we voted or keep on voting them to be our leaders or lawmakers! When do we shape up, Filipino VOTERS!

    • “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. I has never yet melted.”- D. H. Lawrence, in “Classic American Literature, Ch. 5”

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  10. Calling him a drunk is pure rumor and speculation, not to mention outright ignorant. Try puiling the same stunt in anywhere in the US by any officer of the law and see what happens. You were asked to identify yourself, plain and simple. To start a brawl, attack and then kill any US Soldier or police officer in this cowardly way shows how pathetic you and your little buds are.

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