Killings exacerbate our emotional anguish

By Alex P. Vidal

“No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.” ― Sophocles, Antigone

AT least eight of the first 10 videos and news posted on social media over the week were about the massacre of nine people in Pamplona, Negros Oriental that also killed Governor Roel Degamo on March 4.

Most of the videos were personal vlogs and clips from news networks that tackled the bloody carnage, which prompted the national government to deploy battalions of elite Army forces in that province to hunt down the remaining gunmen believed to be hiding in the hills, and secure the civilian populace.

Eight out of 10 vlogs assailed the massacre and sought justice for the fallen governor and the eight others.

At least two or more promoted the crazy idea that the governor’s widow, Janice, the mayor of Pamplona “may be involved” in the ghastly killings.

If they were diversionary tactics meant to smokescreen the real mastermind or masterminds, we are not stupid not to understand what’s going on.

Some criminal minds desperate to wiggle out from trouble always want to win the people’s sympathy by playing victims. A squid or a “reverse psychology” tactic.

The court battle will be another thing. You may succeed in winning the minds of some gullible in the social media through manipulation and sustained lies, but you can’t twist the truth; you can’t change the facts.

In the end, justice will prevail.


Some of the vloggers who zeroed in on the widow’s supposed possible involvement could be sympathizers of the now “missing” Negros Oriental 3rd district Rep. Arnie Teves, the alleged mastermind in Degamo’s murder.

This may be possible especially when they exonerated Teves and transformed the embattled congressman into a victim of harassment and political persecution.

All of a sudden, pro-Teves vlogs and social media mercenaries have mushroomed in the social media and hit Degamo, Mayor Janice, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos, Jr., and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla.

Indeed, paid hacks are everywhere.

Now that Degamo has been laid to rest, we expect the number of the Pamplona massacre-related vlogs to slowly thin away in our social media timeline.

Topics about violence, political rivalry, terrorism, killings among other depressing stories, have only succeeded in planting more hatred and prejudices in the netizens’ hearts and minds.

The stories have exacerbated our emotional and mental anguishes especially if there was no immediate justice in sight for the dead despite the saber rattling of government and police authorities.


TurboTax has been reminding me via e-mail that my tax forms for 2022 were already available.

I just received my fifth notice since January from the software package for preparation of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) income tax returns produced by Intuit.

I plan to finalize my TurboTax forms before first week of April and beat the deadline like I used to do. I have no more reason to delay everything beyond the deadline and pay the penalties.

The IRS started the tax season last January 23rd.

Taxpayers have up to thee months to send the tax return during the tax season. This means that the last day they can send the documents is April 18th.

“Therefore, sending the documents between these dates means fulfilling your obligations as a U.S. citizen,” warned Tododisca.

“If you don’t send them before this date, the IRS will start applying late fees.”

At the time the tax season ends, “citizens who do not have a special season extension permit will not be able to send the forms without a corresponding penalty,” according to Tododisca. “There may be minor exceptions, but usually, they will have to pay a payment for late filing.”

Can I request an extension to send the Tax Return to the IRS?

It is possible to request an extension to send the Tax Return to the IRS, but it is not common that this organization accepts this extension of time.

It is only for exceptional cases in which there is an important reason to justify the extension.

“In any case, all citizens can request the extension of time, regardless of whether we receive it later or not. In the case that we have this extra time, we will be able to send the Tax Return until October of the same year, so we have more freedom to do it,” Tododisca explained.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)


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