US Embassy Manila: George Anikow, Diplomatic Spouse Killed in Early Morning Altercation

Citing the Information Officer of the US Embassy in Manila Tina Malone, Rappler.com reported that the husband of an American Embassy employee was killed in Makati City, in the Philippines on Saturday, November 24.  Ms. Malone declined to disclose more details about the incident but did say that the Philippine National Police (PNP) have suspects in custody and that “The US Embassy appreciates the cooperation of the Philippine authorities, and will work closely with the PNP in their investigation.”

An ABS-CBN report identified the victim as George Anikow, who was allegedly killed by 4 suspects at around 4 am, Saturday, in front of the gate of Bel-Air Subdivision.  Elsewhere local reports also indicate that US embassy press attache Tina Malone confirmed the incident but refused to give out the name of the victim for “privacy reasons.” Various news reports spelled the victim’s name as Anico.

The alleged attackers, young men who reportedly come from well-off Filipino families, ranged in age from 22 to 28 and are publicly named by the news report here.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer also reported this incident:

George Anikow, 41, an inactive US marine officer, died on Saturday morning after he was mauled and fatally stabbed at the back and left shoulder in an event so random he and the other men hardly knew each other, Senior Supt. Manuel Lukban, Makati police chief, said in an interview.
[…]
The victim, a dependent of one of the officers of the US Embassy, was awaiting order from the US Marine to be called to duty, the police said.

Lukban said the Makati police opted to file murder, a non-bailable offense, instead of homicide since the attackers chased the victim “with the intent to kill.”

We emailed the US Embassy Manila last night but have yet to receive a response (which may or may not come).  We’ve also seen the public affairs arms of embassies do this often enough citing “privacy reasons” for the deceased in refusing to release or confirm the identity of victims.  They ought to know better than that since the privacy rules no longer cover the dead. Would be a lot more understandable if they decline to provide details due to sensitivity to the next of kin rather than privacy rules.

While we have been unable to confirm this, it looks like the FSO in this case is a first tour officer on a consular assignment to the US Embassy in Manila.  Public records also indicate that the US Embassy in Manila back in August solicited a quotation for a service apartment for this FSO and her family (spouse,  three children 12, 10 and 6 and a 50 lb Labrador) for 40 nights ending on September 24, 2012. Which seems to indicate they were in temporary housing until late September.  And if that’s the case, then they have just moved in to Bel-Air within the last two months, a private subdivision and gated community in Makati where the victim was reportedly a resident.

The latest Crime and Security Report issued by the Regional Security Office of the US Embassy says that crime is a significant concern in urban areas of the Philippines. Typical criminal acts include pick pocketing, confidence schemes, acquaintance scams, and, in some cases, credit card fraud. It also says that carjacking, kidnappings, robberies, and violent assaults sporadically occur throughout metro Manila and elsewhere in the Philippines.

 

 

 

 

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Retired Ambassador Ryan Crocker Takes Plea Bargain in DUI Charge

After three postment of his DUI hearing in Spokane, Washington (originally scheduled for September 12, then postponed to October 10 and later to November 5), Ambassador Crocker finally had his court hearing on Nov. 21.  According to the Spokesman.com, the former ambassador pleaded guilty to “a reduced charge of reckless driving in connection with a drunken auto accident” this past summer. Excerpt:

The 63-year-old retired diplomat accepted the plea bargain this afternoon in Spokane County District Court. He faced a drunken-driving charge following a collision with a semitruck at a busy Spokane Valley intersection on Aug. 14. He drove away as a witness tailed him, authorities said. No injuries were reported in the collision.

“Your honor … I’m extremely sorry for what I did,” Crocker told District Court Judge Sara Derr. “I failed in my responsibilities to my community and to myself. I can assure you, it will never happen again.”

Crocker declined comment following the hearing.

The Spokesman also reported that Ambassador Crocker’s attorney, Julie Twyford, told Judge Derr that her client recently had brain surgery to treat a subdural hematoma. The judge accepted the plea recommendation, which came from the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office.  Ambassador Crocker must pay a fine of $1,000 and his driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days as part of his sentence according to the report.

A webmd lookup says that a subdural hematoma is a collection of blood outside the brain and that this is usually caused by severe head injuries.  The bleeding and increased pressure on the brain can be life-threatening. While in some cases the condition stop and resolve spontaneously, others require surgical drainage.  More here.