‘Looky-loos’ be warned

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Tropical Storm Igme

Sunday, October 14, 2012


THE recent bombing in Cagayan de Oro City may not yield the soonest leads the investigating authorities could come up, but somehow it re-echoed one important aspect when it comes to suspicious stuff: safety first, and never become a “looky-loo” or “usisero.”

Although it’s an unfortunate that lives were lost because of the incident, but if only the victims, Rudy Jote heeded what his colleague said to go away of the place as reported, and also Expedito Endan, their lives would have been spared.

“Curiosity killed the cat” you know, as the old British proverb has suggested. But it can be observed many times that the curious Filipinos overwhelm the authority of police investigators. Usisero kaayong dako kitang mga Pilipino, apan disiplina lang unta.

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In 2010, when there was a shooting incident near Cogon market where an ex-convict was gunned down and died on the spot, police investigators had a hard time gathering data because of the crowd who goes beyond the designated yellow police lines. It seems this has been a trend for quite some time now.

Let’s not also spare the members of the media. Yes, journalists need to get as much information for the public’s consumption, but not to the point that we become exempted to standard safety precautions set by authorities.

Dili mag hinawod. Dili ta Superman. If you are trying to portray a brand of “fearless” reporting, then you are doing it wrong.

In some similar instances where there are police lines and ongoing investigations, some reporters would easily enter the restricted premises to conduct omnipotent/condescending interviews, or worse, touch some suspected evidences.

Seminars and workshops were supposed to have conducted about this, but either they just went there for the food and venue or simply because “old dogs can’t be taught new tricks.”

But it takes two to tango, “usiseros” would have long been disciplined if police authorities have enough teeth to teach them a lesson, no, not the controversial way, but by explaining to them the importance of safety in conducting investigations especially on circumstances that involves exploding devices.

The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have divisions that focus on the communities, educating the people about their jobs.

This may also be a high time for these agencies to again re-awaken and re-asses their methods in teaching the public on the aspect of safety and awareness of what to do in scenarios, such as what happened during the recent bombing in the city.

(Nef Luczon is a freelance journalist and a part-time communications instructor. He is also a film and art enthusiast. Send comments to nefluczon@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 15, 2012.

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