The search for our Batman

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By Giano M. Libot

I have issues

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


FOR a city that thirsts for justice, we long to see the day Cagayan de Oro no longer gets associated to news on increasing criminality, ever since 2013 the wave of crimes has risen.

There have been numerous factors associated to its steep rise, increased poverty incidents, the growing number of homeless people on the city streets, the lack of police visibility. All of which have been lobbied aggressively by the citizens to the Moreno administration, all of which now solutions have been left wanting.

Kilometres away our counterpart and one which Moreno himself boldly challenged that CdO would eventually take over, Davao City enjoys one of the highest rates of safety not just in this side of the island, but even compared to the rest of the world. On its helm the leadership of Duterte blossoms, adorned with his grounded image, and tough-guy approach to crime. He takes the methods of Dirty Harry and puts them into action with a far bolder bravado, he is not the one to feign threats on criminals, and much of this mystique has driven Kagay-anons into a thirst of having our own brand of Duterte coming in and sweeping the city streets clean of the gangs, the thieves and the killers.

I guess when your City starts becoming much like Gotham, filled with Dark terrors abound the night, you start wishing you had a batman too, one who would through the shadows end this cycle of crime. But much like the films and comics, justice in a mask only looks great on the screen, but to its actuality comes a much more horrible price, and a price I dare say not many of us would be willing to pay.

You see Duterte’s methods come at a steep cost, where the system relies so much on the benevolence of one man, a good-seeking authoritarianism if you must. But to achieve peace, even one that might span 10 years, it has to be sustainable, and although Davao does enjoy at its heart the totemic fear that criminals would flee against, all it has ever done is prevent the ills from coming in. But once Digong’s menace is done, what is to stop it from coming back in?

I won’t probably argue that Davao’s system is purely just that, I’m sure there is an elaborate network of intelligence and also effective implementation of its civilian and government authorities to ensure its high ratings of safety. But if the mask and the symbol that looms over is only one man, it worries me of how fragile a foundation for peace that could be. And it worries me that we’d somehow aspire that of the same for our city.

I encourage our authorities and our civilians, both leaders and members to seek for more sustainable solutions, we are at desperate times but we cannot risk employing desperate measures. May we be branded as insensitive to those who have been the victims of crimes, and I would be the first to admit I’d wish nothing but hell to the criminals, we have a system we have to upload, an abandonment of which would make us no less than the monsters we had hoped to vanquish.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 11, 2014.

Opinion

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