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I spent two years in Manila studying at the University of Santo Tomas my first and second years in college. And this is one lesson that has stuck with me even after nine years: When someone tries to steal your bag, or your phone, by all means, give it to the darn snatcher. 

There are numerous stories of snatching in Metro Manila, particularly in the University Belt. This area is usually brimming with students from all of the universities in the vicinity. Each student busy going to and from their school to their dormitories or the next jeepney stop. It is no surprise that this is also a haven for snatchers with all sorts of modi operandi waiting for their next targets.

I believe it was our English professor who relayed this story of a young student whose brand new phone got nabbed while riding an FX, a means of transportation similar to the famous jeepney. Since the phone was just given to him by his parents, probably as a gift, he refused and he got stabbed/shot for it. (Forgive me for the vague details, nine years is quite long.) The lesson that our professor has clearly and repeatedly stated is this: a phone ain’t worth your life.

I have moved to Davao since and have basked in the thought that the crime rate of snatching here is remarkably low compared to Metro Manila’s. I have even walked the streets of Davao at night, something I would never dare in Metro Manila. It saddens me now that after nine years, this creeping crime has apparently crawled its way to peaceful Davao.

February 18, 2012, 11:30 AM,

Marjorie Kwan, a 23-year old nurse, was shot four times by men riding a motorcycle after she refused to surrender her bag to the snatchers. She has a full life ahead of her. And her life was stolen together with her purse.

As of now, the suspects are still at large. I pray that these men will be caught soon. Who shoots someone in broad daylight and gets away with it? I hope the answer would be no one. But you and I both know that that is rarely the case.

Here is the link to the article posted by ABS-CBN on their site: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/02/18/12/fil-chinese-nurse-shot-dead-davao

I personally do not know her but we both graduated from the same college. In fact, when news of this incident spread in Facebook, I immediately checked her profile and we actually have quite a lot of friends (35) in common. Apparently, we’re even batchmates, graduated the same year. Despite being strangers to each other, her death has brought sadness in me. May kirot sa dibdib when I found out about the news and as I write this now.

Facebook and Twitter has been swarming with campaigns for justice for the death of Marjorie Kwan. Although we know these would never be enough for the family and friends who were left behind but there is solace, however miniscule, in the fact that people care for their fellow human being whose life has been wasted for just a few bucks. Prayers are the best we could offer to the grieving family.

There is a Facebook page dedicated to her, Justice for Marjorie Kwan. Visit the page and show your support.

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