LAST Friday, March 10, around 10 p.m., Cherrymae Dayo was heartlessly stabbed to death by three men and two women who had a common intent to rob the house where Cherrymae was a caretaker.
One suspect owned up to the crime, admitting further that he raped Cherrymae after stabbing her. Cherrymae was determined to live, getting out of the house after she was raped and stabbed to seek help and, at the hospital, she even told the hospital staff that she had been raped.
From what I heard, she also asked people to lock the house doors to prevent possible intruders from taking advantage of the situation.
It was a tragic death for Cherrymae, who was intent on finishing college even at 30.
By Monday, a mob had formed, screaming angrily and holding hard objects to throw or slap the faces of the suspects who were being brought to the hall of justice. It was like a movie scene.
But there were other victims that day and the day after that. A taxi driver was stabbed at least 17 times by his passengers-turned-robbers. A man found inside a sack with his head smashed and his hands and feet tied.
This is becoming quite alarming considering this is a small city. The “City of Golden Friendship” is becoming the "City of Golden Stabs."
Seeing and hearing news of murder and homicide cases in metropolitan cities may be common for some but noting that these crimes are happening in Cagayan de Oro, I can’t help but feel concerned.
This is the city where I’m very comfortable. It is where I can walk in Divisoria and go ukay-ukay shopping at night and buy balut at the wee hours without a care in the world. Here, I can ride a jeepney and tell the driver, “Di baya gyud ko katuod anang lugara ‘Nong, ihunong baya gyud ko dadto (I really don't know where that place is Uncle so please drop me off there),” and I can be at the said destination. This is where I trust people to be kind to me because I know the locals here are always willing to help.
In this place, I do not have to worry when I go home at night because I know it’s safe.
But I’m very disheartened with these crimes happening here.
I hope that our local government and our police force will have a better security program for our residents especially since Cagayan de Oro is a booming city.
There are a lot of opportunities this city has yet to offer. But what I love about this place is that the people have remained hospitable, friendly and kind.
It would be a pity if these were to disappear because people have become afraid.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 15, 2017.