Too Much Democracy ?

A Chinatown grocery owner who along with two of his staff captured a returning thief, tied and locked the culprit in the van and called the police to officially arrest and prosecute the offender ended up at the wrong end of the pole. Instead of being heralded as heroes, the grocer and his staff were charged with assault with excessive use of force. Ugh. What must you do if it happened to you ? Say you caught a thief red handed stealing your car ? Call 911, twiddle your fingers and hope help comes on time? Vigilante justice in this day and age is taboo. At least no one got killed or seriously injured – that’s the only good news in this case.

The crown ( in this case the government) contends that a citizen’s arrest could only be performed when someone is caught in the act of the felony, not after the fact. That’s kind of lame reasoning in my opinion. As long as you have witnesses and evidence to prove his guilt, methinks a citizen’s arrest is warranted. The comical part about this was the thief admitted his guilt and subsequently became a witness to prosecute the grocer and his staff ! As the controversial case was dragging on in court, the public was edgy and curious of the outcome because it could affect people’s lives, their actions to protect their property. Then a twist happened. Mr. Thief stole again in the Chinatown area, his image captured by cameras in the store. This time the police was tipped and Mr. Thief was arrested . In fact Mr. Thief is known to police, a frequent offender who he had been in and out of jail for theft.

The judge’s decision was finally handed down and the grocer and his staff were acquitted of the charge. The judge ruled that the citizen’s arrest was justified. Whoa ? What took him so damn long to figure this out ? Because Mr. Thief stole again ? I guess the judge would look like a real asshole to indict the grocer and his staff while Mr. Thief is running around free, doing his usual purloining ways , pinching and shoplifting stuff from Chinatown stores eh ? Had Mr. Thief not steal again while the case was pending, I had the feeling that Mr. Grocer and his staff may have been in troubled waters. I say bring the paddles out and flog this fucking kleptomaniac’s butt at the Chinatown square till it turns purple like what they do in Singapore. Or cut his right hand like they do in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Grocer is out of the woods now but I bet you he paid some good dough to a lawyer to defend him and his staff. That’s the part that sucks big time. 😦 Okay, I’m incensed with a thief getting the better treatment than his captors. But I wouldn’t want to see the bastard blasted with a shotgun for stealing a pot of plant either. Too much democracy – I guess I’ll have to learn to live with it 😦


As I was getting out of my car at the train station parking lot, I pressed my right hip under my jacket to check for my cell phone – and it wasn’t there. Darn, I must have dropped it inside the car I thought. I turned on the ignition, pressed my Bluetooth button on my dashboard and got a dial tone. My phone is paired with my car’s Bluetooth system so it must be in the car ! I called my wife using Bluetooth and asked her to call me back so I could hear the ring and track the phone. I shut down my Bluetooth and she did call and I heard my phone ring. I was looking under the car seats but couldn’t find the damn phone ! I know the phone is inside my car but where the hell is it ? I had barely 3 minutes left and the train will show up on the tracks so I decided to abandon the search. I told myself I’m going to turn all damn seats of my SUV upside down when I get home until I find my Blackberry 😦

That day I was at an all day conference and I was basically incommunicado, losing contact with the outside world. I had to eyeball the people I agreed to meet at the conference and was lucky to find two of them. It was kinda weird for me to use the public pay phone to call people up. It was a telecom conference and I bet you every single person in that venue had a cell phone. I decided to skip half of the afternoon sessions and went home early. The damn Blackberry stressed me up. I got to find it ! All my passwords -system, pins, accounts, locks name it are on it ( they’re in a virtual safe and password protected though πŸ˜‰ ). Silly for me not to back it up for 2 weeks 😦 I was a couple of stops away from my destination when something lit up my brain. What if the darn phone was on the ground ? It must be. If it was on the car floor I would have found it. What if someone found it ? Why was I stupid not to even think of such probability ? I cursed myself for being so dim-witted. 😦

The moment I stepped down the train I almost wanted to run. As I approached my car, I was looking at the ground. When I got closer, I checked underneath the vehicle and there was my Blackberry slumbering ! I fell from my hip when I got out of the car. Why did I fail to track it ? I swore when I heard the ring I thought it was inside the car. Know what my problem was ? I was on vibrate+loud using chime as my ring tone. The sound of chime is a bit hollow and it pretty difficult to pinpoint its exact source. Besides, my phone only vibrated for 4 cycles and rang for 4 cycles and went to voice mail. Man it was one of those days. I felt so incredibly stupid 😦


Here’s David Gilmour, singing one of PINK FLOYD’s greatest hits ” Coming Back to Life” at his 2008 concert at Royal Albert Hall in London. The band has long split but Gilmour, the voice and guitar of PINK FLOYD is still doing solo gigs and sounding better as he ages πŸ˜‰


36 Responses

  1. I thought stupid judges are confined only in the Philippines, like the one who convicted a quadreplegic of rape.

    IMO, too many laws results to a lot of interpretation. And the more democratic a country is, the more laws it produce which on hindsight are in conflict with other existing laws. Ang gulo!

    There is nothing mysterious about your cellphone. It also happens to me. It’s natural for people like you and me as we “mellow”. >: D

    • The law seems to become even more fuzzier these days. I guess lawyers had twisted the law to their advantage. Nowadays a traffic cop who busts an illegal alien for traffic violation has no business contesting his immigration status.

      You mean as we grow older we don’t necessarily become smarter ? πŸ˜‰ My Blackberry tricked me big time. I had no inkling the sound came from under the chassis πŸ™‚

      • No, I mean as we grow older, our senses becomes a little bit duller. Not to mention forgeting things we considered trivial. : )

      • With illegal immigration front center that’s confronting the whole country; traffic violations now are the main stepping stone to many arrests and deportations. If they’re just standing around on corner streets, home depots, and nurseries waiting for work…there is no crime, no arrest. Isn’t that something? or good democracy in action?, hehe…..

    • Only in the Philippines. Too many bright people here!

  2. I feel incomplete when my BlackBerry is not with me. There was one day that I thought I lost it while in the mall. I hardly tracked it because it is always on a silent mode. That was during a weekend and I was ready to face the embarrassment of reporting it to my office that I lost it. I think that the possible tarnish in my reputation (LOL) that I’m not a good keeper mattered to me more than losing the unit. Hahaha. But thankfully, when I sorted my shopping bags, it was there. Haaay. It’s still a mystery to me how it went there.

    • If it’s in silent mode that’s a problem to track ! My unit is also office issued and could get replaced but I was more concerned of the data that I failed to back up for 2 weeks. I also lost my Ipod at home only to find it hiding in the basement, after 2 weeks πŸ™‚

  3. You were fooled by your cell phone lol πŸ™‚ I also lost my cell phone. Luckily the one who found it kept it and waited for me to call. I had to travel a bit far to retrieve it but that was okay. At least I had a reunion with my phone πŸ˜‰

    • I did lose my cell phone once but got it back that very evening. A guy found it and took it to the hockey game. When I called my cell I agreed to wait for him at the entrance of a pub where he was headed with his friends after the game.Good that the pub wasn’t far from my office but darn I waited until 930pm for the game to be finished 😯

  4. that was dumb for the courts to charge the grocer. He was protecting his property to the best of his ability. If this happened in Africa or somewhere the thief would have been dead. Too much democracy is better than the rule of the jungle.

    I don’t put too much info on my cell phone. I could lose it anytime.

    That’s a pretty cool song from Pink Floyd.

    • I guess you’re right. Too much democracy is better than too little. It would be scary if people start shooting at petty thieves 😦

  5. If I didn’t have my cellphone for a day, that would be difficult since I use it as my alarm clock when I take naps. hehe

    • Same here. I have all my appointments on alarm. I also have a copy of my Itunes MP3 songs on it. Darn, the cell phone has become too important to lose these days.

  6. losing something is really stressful. it’s your fate to keep your berry since no one saw it and picked it up.

    how have you been?

    • Yes, I was glad no one picked it up. That’s why I went home early to avoid the rush of people during going home time.

      I’ve been swell, just too busy at work. Hey , congrats to the Giants. A well deserved victory πŸ™‚

  7. I think any law of any land should be based on common sense. Unfortunately common sense, even for the so-called intelligent ones, is not common anymore.

    They use the letters of the law for all decisions they make because they are too lazy to use their brains.

    • Common sense had been stretched so much that it sometimes loses it sense πŸ˜‰ In this case it is quite disturbing when a victim becomes the offender.

  8. The thief was one time lucky but probably was so dumb to do it again; now this over focus on legal technicalities is one weak point of democracies, many felons escaped this, with the aid of able lawyers, evade prosecution by averring mistreatmeant usually by authorities. The main argument is that with excessive force, evidence against felons may be tainted and any confessions would be marred by doubt.

    Oh, about the blackberry underneath your vehicle, lucky you that nobody stopped by and picked it up, you know πŸ™‚

    • Nowadays adhering to procedures and ensuring that the citizen’s rights are not violated at the time of arrest, even if they are guilty can spell the difference between conviction and freedom.

      Able lawyers as you alluded to can definitely help whichever side you are on – as long as you can afford them. πŸ˜‰

  9. It’s hard to do the right thing these days. A lot of times, tables get turned against you. I guess that’s the reason why there’s so much evil in our world today.

    I guess excessive force should now be used before a felony is committed??? πŸ˜€

    • How are you bro ? Hope your doing well and doing greater and bigger things with your new job πŸ™‚

      In this era of political correctness too many rules can be bended and the lawyers and legislators seem to connive to create loopholes in the system which both of them can exploit. Case in point – the immigration system which used to be pretty straightforward is now so nebulous, where there seems to be no order as to what is possible and what is not. It depends on your lawyer and how much you are paying him πŸ˜‰

  10. “Too Much Democracy ?” – isn’t it a reason kaya masyadong pragmatic and cynical ang mga tao???? ay ewan… πŸ™‚

  11. Once my cell went into the trash bin after I emptied my food tray in a fastfood, real stupid way to lose a true partner, hehe….

    You can shoot a robber at his back inside your house, but once the thug is out of the door…you will end up being charged for second degree murder if you are still pissed and shot him.
    It’s been in the back of my mind that if this actually happens to me…I would still shoot the culprit outside while he’s fleeing and drag his dead body inside….hope nobody sees me.

    I think the WORST part of heroic action was the news years ago of a good samaritan who attempted to give first aid to someone dying on the street. Unfortunately, the person he was trying to help died, and the good samaritan was found guilty to have caused his death. How about that?

    • That’s a good plan hehe πŸ™‚ There was a case here of a man convicted of attempted murder when the robber he shot in the butt inside his garage managed to run to the street. ugh..

      People hesitate to help – they are content to call 911 for fear that they might get implicated if something happens to the victim.

  12. doing a citizen’s arrest would get you in big trouble, the person could counter and put you too in court. make sure you really know the law before you act.

    • true. but what pisses people off is when the law tries to favor the culprit and punishing the citizen who is trying to protect his property. We could cite examples but this particular case I am blogging about is a classic case of the law being overzealous and in my mind it also reeks of discrimination.

  13. BW, public opinion can positively tip the scales. Sadly, I was not present to advise the shopkeeper to not be seen by the thief.

    “I have no idea who hog-tied this man, officer… He looks just like the guy we saw stealing cars around here. Of course, I can’t say for sure.”

    • that would have been fine but the thief was tied up and kept inside the store owner’s van when the police came πŸ˜‰

      • bw, you can’t win for losing… But, if this ever happens again, maybe someone will have read the account, and deal with the offender without getting anything slung back at them. good article.

  14. hehe too much democracy eh? flagrante delicto and the victims became the offender 😦 your phone got to St. basil’s cathedral in moscow? πŸ˜›

  15. This account is similar to what I’ve read from my friends who were studying theology in the USA. Some of the stories I’ve heard is like that of a burglar who sue the owner of the house because his foot was pricked while on his way out of the house using the back exit.
    Another one is that of a 7-11 employee who was fired out for resisting a robbery attempt.
    There are so much more that I don’t think I’ll every hear of it here in ‘Pinas.
    As for what happened to you and your cellphone, I think the same thing occurred to me in several occasion sometime ago. The worst that ever happened is with my bunch of keys (office key and house key combined). It was not lost though but think of the annoyances it had caused.
    Pink Floyd was a favorite long years back. Used to have collection of their album in cassette tape…

  16. Here’s another one for the record (happened in the USA) Bike-riding doctor sues roller-blading 11-year-old

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