George Anikow Murder: “A Macho Against Macho Issue” Says Philippine Police

The Marine Corps Times has additional details about George Anikow, a US Marine and spouse of US Embassy diplomat, Laura Anikow who was killed in Makati last weekend.

Anikow, of Monmouth, N.J., served eight years as an infantry officer on active duty after his commissioning in 1994 and was working as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee in a joint billet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Maj. Kate S. Vanden Bossche, a Marine Forces Reserve spokeswoman in New Orleans. The assignment allowed him to drill as a reservist and work in the Philippines, she said.
In recent years, Anikow was mobilized twice as a civil affairs officer, including a nine-month combat tour in Afghanistan in 2009, according to Marine Corps records. While there, he served with the 4th Civil Affairs Group. During his earlier active-duty time, Anikow deployed on the amphibious assault ship Guam during the 1996 operations Joint Endeavor and Assured Response.

He received numerous military awards, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two awards of the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, three awards of the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

According to the Philippine Inquirer, the Makati police denied reports that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation  is conducting a parallel probe on this murder.  The Makati police chief, by the way, is reportedly a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia:

“There is no parallel investigation. The FBI is not meddling in the case,” Lukban said, adding that a US government official had just contacted him about minor details, such as the transport of Anikow’s body to the United States.

He said the US government had also promised technical assistance, including enhancing the CCTV footage the police had obtained.

The Philippine presidential office said it hoped the Anikow incident would not lead to a travel advisory against the Philippines. It’s Department of Foreign Affairs called the incident an “isolated case,” saying there is no reason for foreign diplomats in the country to feel unsafe.

A Diplomatic Security report indicates that from January to November 2011, the Philippine National Police recorded 230,817 crime incidents. This number represents a significant reduction in crimes compared to the reported total in 2009 which is 333,416. For 2011, physical assault and theft were the two largest contributors to the total number of incidents in a country of 7,100 islands inhabited by 94,852,030 people.

News from Manila seems to indicate that male pride was the motive behind the killing George Anikow outside an upscale subdivision.

“The suspects, being male, their pride was stepped on by another man. That’s the very simple reason for the incident,” Makati police chief Senior Supt Manuel Lukban explained during an interview.

“It seems their manhood was challenged. It became a macho against macho issue,” said Senior Superintendent Lukban.

Apparently the victim tapped on the car and that irked one of the alleged attackers. We have thought about the notion that a wounded male pride can lead to a murder and could not quite wrap our mind around that. Is life so cheap there that a perceived offense could not be resolved without spilling blood?  But this is also a country where you reportedly can even hire tandem hitmen for a little more than a couple hundred dollars.

Below is an excerpt from Get Real Philippines, a blog that should be part of FSI’s Overseas Briefing Center resources for FS employees researching about prospective assignment to the Philippines.

George Anikow murder: Violence is a broad and profound cultural condition in Philippine society

Again we encounter another instance of the violent nature of Filipinos — a people expats have for so long warned one shouldn’t cross as they (1) don’t fight fair and (2) hold deadly unshakable grudges. Last night saw the murder of George Anikow, a former US Marine officer and spouse of a US Embassy staff member allegedly in the hands of a gang of enraged Filipino men at the gate of posh Makati village Bel Air. What was initially a mild altercation between Anikow and the party of four young men reportedly turned into a brawl that left Anikow mortally wounded from stab wounds.

One can understand getting beat up in a brawl. But to wield a knife in one is just so, well, Pinoy. For a nation that idolises boxers, one wonders why the idea of fighting fair mano-y-mano seems lost in the typical Filipino male.
This is after all a nation where assassins riding tandem on motorcycles can be hired for a hit for no more than Php10,000 (a little more than USD200). It is quite amazing that the Philippines is not on Uncle Sam’s permanent travel ban list. The simplest misunderstanding, misconstrued look, or unintended slight can provoke a massive feudal vendetta that could last generations. It seems to all stem from the world-renowned pipsqueak ego of the Filipino…
The Filipino’s taste for petty violence has spawned lively viral video circuses many times. Recall the Thrilla in NAIA involving Ramon Tulfo, Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto, Robert Carabuna vs the MMDA, and other such nuggets of Pinoy class. Perhaps there is something to be said about the way Filipino men are raised — or not raised as the case may be for the entire generation of Filipinos absentee-parented by the modern-day “heroes” of this sad nation, the Overseas Foreign Workers (OFW).

Read in full here. Given that the presidential palace’s immediate reaction concerned a travel advisory, the Get Real Philippines blog post just sent Malacanang into an apoplectic shock. noted that the Anikow killing is the first of a foreign diplomat’s family member in the Philippines since the famous Hultman-Chapman case.  That’s the case where Claudio Teehankee Jr., son of the late chief justice Claudio Teehankee, was convicted of murdering two people, one of them the son of a US Embassy employee, inside Dasmariñas subdivision also in Makati.  Teehankee Jr. served 17 years in jail and was granted a presidential pardon in 2008.