Fictional detective and the Leftist killings

In the past few weeks newspaper readers, television viewers, and Internet surfers have been witness to the growing news of assassinations.  Yes, assassinations of people from the media and the organized left.  As of the moment, the series of killings have not been solved.

I wonder what would it take to solve this mystery.

How would a detective solve this series of murders?  How would Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown, Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple see this case?

Imagine one of them taking on this mystery.  What would be his or her solution to this case?  Imagine if a detective were to write down his thoughts on the matter and sent it as letter.

Perhaps it would look like this.

June 6, 2006

Dear Juned,

I have been watching the news headlines from your country with great interest.  What seems to a series of murders committed in your homeland has piqued my interest.  And it would seem, judging by the other related news stories it is beginning to create uproar among a number of sectors in your society, notably but not surprisingly from the Press, the Liberals, and the Left.

There are several solutions to this mystery.  Consider the facts on hand.

(a) In the past few years there has been a number of people from the Press and the Left that have been gunned down.
(b) Nearly all were slain by unknown armed assassins. Men riding motorcycles did a number of these assassinations
(c) Most accounts of the assassinations have been sketchy at best and insubstantial

So, what are the solutions to this mystery?  Always remember motive, means, and opportunity.  Nearly all murders have these important factors in order to succeed.

Solution 1 - It could be local and personal.


People who report and comment on the news live in the world of politics and crime.  While those in the organized Left aside from dealing with things political often venture in causes against corruption and injustice.  Such actions often puts, as an expression goes, puts on of their foot on the grave.  Their actions might have cause insult, injury, and endanger something precious for someone they are entangled.  Such individuals or groups maybe celebrities, businessmen, criminal syndicates, politicians, policemen, and anyone they might hit in the pursuit of their cause.  Thus, it would be of no surprise that some of their enemy or those they have injured would resort to terminal solutions.  However, why would they do this?  Revenge, to avenge a wrong, to dispose of a problem, frustration arising from a slow legal system are reasons enough for this to happen.


In your country, it is not hard to get guns or goons.  Unfortunately, poverty in any country will always do this.  The people killed for a piece of bread are as many as people who were killed for other reasons are are.  Due to poverty and greed, guns for hire - from the ranks of the military, police, the Armed Leftists, and other organized armed groups - are always available.  All you need is cash.  On the other hand you might not even need a goon just a gun or a weapon.


Most of the killings were done in public, in situ.  As far as I remember, reading the news, most of the assassinations were done expeditiously and some times in broad daylight with the assassins fleeing into the surroundings.

With this solution, there is no pattern except that of lawlessness, frustration, and impunity.  There maybe no over-all Machiavellian plot, but the repercussions are damaging if nothing is to be done.

Solution 2 - National in Design and Political in Purpose


There is also the possibility that all of these assassinations are part of grand if not taciturn act of a death squad.  The aim may be to silence critics or to decimate the organization of the Left or to bring about the downfall of the present regime.


The Military and possible fifth columnists within or the Left and its splinter groups or other armed groups have the means and organization to do this. All groups have no shortage of weapons and willing bodies to do this and in the past, they have.  The Sparrow Units of the Left have owned to several public slayings of politicians and policemen.  The Military and the Police have using bullets to resolve a situation.  During Ferdinand Marcos’ term, salvaging or executions were done wantonly.  The Left also conducted bloody purges in the past to ferret out government agents and to silence dissension from their rank.  The difference between the Armed Insurgents and the Armed Forces seem to be in the methodology - the Left seem to favor guerilla tactics while the Military and Police favor a shoot to kill solution.  All of these organizations have networks through out the country, making it quite easy for them to stage assassination.

However, a monolithic and large organization does not seem practical for such an undertaking.  For such surgical and politically explosive strikes one uses a special unit or squad.  Therefore, it could be a splinter group, fifth columnists, or a special unit from within these groups that are doing this.


Taking aside the killing of the journalists and radio broadcasters for a moment and concentrating on the Leftists for a moment one notices one glaring fact.  Except for the recent slaying of Sotero Llamas, most if not all victims were front line people in the Leftist movement. No one really higher up and in all practical sense easily replaceable and even more important with little or no security people around them - in other words easy targets.

If one factors out the killing of personalities from the Media and the Press and attribute it to local killings.  One is left with a set of people belonging to the lower and middle hierarchy of the Left who were easy targets.  Individually their deaths could be chalked up to ordinary crime or local-related issues.  However, together all these deaths is a big scandal for the present regime.

If solution no 2 is pursued I can hazard a few suppositions -

If there was deliberate and orchestrated nature in this killings it is limited against people belonging to the lower and middle hierarchy of the Legitimate Left - those who have abandoned the armed struggle and have opted to non-violent means of attaining their political goals.

If there was deliberate and orchestrated nature in this killings it is done by three types of groups - a special unit, a splinter group, or a group fifth columnists.  The special unit would only be reporting to key people within the organization, shielding the rest of the organization from the burden and making it easier to carry out its task.  Its task weakening the Legal Left.  The splinter group from the Left might be doing this out of retaliation or it is part of an on-going war between the factions.  A group of fifth columnists within the Military and the Police committed to overthrowing the present regime.  The fifth columnists might be hoping that the increase stress brought about by the assassinations will be one of the factors that will bring about the fall present regime.  Essentially, the fifth columnists are hitting two birds, the Government and the Left, with one stone.

These death squads in order to operate effectively must have a backer both political and financial from within the organization.  What are the motives of this backer or backers?  It could jive with the sentiments with those on the death squads or it could be more Machiavellian.  These death squads, if they exist, will only be the means that this person or these people, the backers the masterminds, will achieve their goal.

There you are my friend two solutions to your mystery.  An entertaining mental exercise for a fictional detective, like me who is more focused on the possible solutions of the problem than on effects and after shocks.  Unfortunately, the real world is more complex and unpredictable than fiction.  A day, a week, a month, or several years from now some new crucial bit of information might pop out and alter everything.


Fictional Detective No 84

3 Responses to “Fictional detective and the Leftist killings”

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  1. Jun8

    Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose » Blog Archive » What we’ve learned: Civil Society

    Said this at 12:27pm:

    […] baratillo@cubao employs a fictional detective to get to the bottom of political killings. Peryodistang Pinoy blogs about preparations for her column on the disturbing extrajudicial killings going on in Cebu City. […]

  2. Jun11


    Said this at 12:46am:

    I’ve become too weary of the extra-judicial killing here in RP. Makes me think that we’re really devolving into the Medieval world.

  3. Jun12


    Said this at 3:58pm:

    I am afraid that in some cases it might be caused by the lethargic nature of the legal system.


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