I got some shocking news earlier this week. Before giving you the news that I received, I want to lay out the underlying story for you first, though.
It all started back on January 22, just a couple of weeks ago. I am surprised, but what happened that day did not seem to get a huge amount of news coverage, at least not nearly what I thought it would.
You see, on January 22, a Canadian National who had been living in the Philippines went on a shooting spree in a courtroom in Cebu City. The Canadian’s name was John Pope. Pope had been living in the Philippines for 14 years, and apparently he had some troubles over that time. The information that I have received is that Pope was living in the Philippines with an SRRV Visa (Special Retiree’s Resident Visa).
Apparently, at the time of his shooting spree, Pope had two different things going on in the Philippine Legal System.
- Pope was facing charges for violence against women and children stemming from some issues with his former live-in partner.
- Pope had been involved in various incidents with his neighbors in Guadalupe, Cebu.
Apparently, on the day of the incident, Pope was at court in relation to his issues that he faced with his neighbors.
According to news reports, Pope had some long standing battles going on with several of his neighbors, dating back as mid-2000. Apparently, Pope owned a townhouse in Guadalupe. He had a complaint against one of his neighbors for some kind of very inconsequential problem, and when he complained to the Neighborhood Association President, the President did not do anything, so Pope apparently began harassing the President ever since then. Newspapers go as far as saying that Pope had confronted the President with a gun, and even bothered him at his place of work. This Association President was a Medical Doctor, so it would seem that he was probably a smart and well to do fellow.
The neighbors had so many problems with Pope that they even went to the Canadian Consulate in Cebu to file a complaint, but the Consulate told them that the issues should be addressed with local authorities, since this kind of thing was outside their jurisdiction. It finally came down to a court case being filed against Pope. When he went to the courthouse for his case, Pope shot several people. He killed two people in the courtroom, including the doctor/association President, and also a City Prosecutor. In the end, Pope also killed himself.
You know, there have been times when I have had issues with neighbors here in the Philippines too. During some of those problems, there have been times that I have been very mad, and could have possibly lost my cool. But, luckily that never happened, and such incidents have been resolved. Fact is, that incident was resolved in my favor too. But, I will say, my time in the Philippines has been almost exclusively having very nice neighbors and meeting lots of nice people. Those who have been mean or negative have been very few. But, an incident shows us that we have to keep our cool as much as possible. Once we start to lose our temper, it is possible that others will egg us on, because we are foreigners, and many of the local people may have an inclination to stick together. Because of that, avoid confrontational incidents as much as possible.
The News I received
Now, what was the disturbing news? Well, this past week, Feyma was contacted regarding this incident. She was told that before the shooting started in Cebu, John Pope was talking about me! The people wanted to know if I was a friend of Pope’s, or why he was talking about me! Frankly, I never heard of John Pope before this shooting incident. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps he read this website, and that is why he may have mentioned my name, although I can’t figure out in what possible context he may have mentioned me. So far, we have not been contacted again with any questions about this. I hope it has been put to rest, because I really don’t want to be involved in this at all.
Whatever happened, Mr. Pope, I hope you are at peace now. You certainly went out with a bang. Too bad that you didn’t seek some kind of help before embarking on the kind of incident that lead to your ultimate demise.