Steadily, tv and print have been targeting Filipinos as responsible for crimes. About 90% of the length of a crime news segment, are tips for people to avoid being victims. The remaining 10% are interviews with policemen for more tips for civilians. Our tv networks give the impression, we must be mainly responsible for our safety. They need to figure out it is the police’s job.
At the popular Session Road in Baguio, one can’t help but hear policemen voice over megaphones. On a touristy day, they say, “beware of pickpockets, take care of your belongings”. This implies law enforcers can’t do anything about it. It is as if they have given up trying to catch them. Rather, they may have connived with thieves for their portion. True policemen would rather be saying aloud: “Thieves you will be caught. several times, mr so-so has been caught, jailed and fined. You will be next. “
Policemen should follow-up on hunting down criminals. It should be that the thieves are the ones worried, not the average Filipino. Instead of letting each Filipino bear the burden of public safety, police should be doing this. As a shortcut nation, even our policemen have avoided extra effort of running around and catching crooks. Just let the Filipino take responsibility. After all, it won’t be the policemen having the problem. Life should only be too good for these men in blue.
Media has helped policemen immensely. For example, robberies of passengers in taxis have become rampant. TV Media detailed how passengers should text the taxi’s plate number to a family member. The news segment I watched warned passengers to board at malls that note down the plate number of taxi. The news explained the thieves modus operandi of an accomplice in the trunk, coming out to aid in the driver in robbery. There was no mention of how police are responsible for this and their performance/success rate on such crimes. Neither was there mention of how police will reassure and build back public trust. Truly TV media has helped wonderfully the policemen and subtlely burdened the Filipino. After all, media is indebted to police, as they get leads for stories, get interviews, and build rapport with the cops.
Media has also downplayed murders by focusing on the rape aspect of murder-rape crimes. Greater focus should be on the murder as it is the more destructive. By highlighting the rape aspect, and sensationalizing it, they mellow down the seriousness of the crime by focusing on the lesser deed. Same goes for robbery-murder scenes, media focuses more on the robbery than the higher bearing crime, murder. It would then seem that on the loose are just robbers, not the murderers they really are. Another crime, drug-related murders are suggested as less serious as the offenders are not in their normal mind. Crime is not as bad as it really is, as only less notorious crimes are suggested.
Ratings not ethics are behind media reporting on crimes. Policemen are not in the limelight as the primary accountable for justice and crime resolution. Filipinos are left to buy guns, lock up the house well, and to go about with a higher chance of danger. It is more fun in the Philippines seeing live Grand Theft Auto.