‘Stray’ guns-A A +A
Thursday, January 24, 2013
WHAT can we say about loaded guns in the wrong hands and in the wrong place? I am still puzzled about how a loaded gun was brought inside the Palace of Justice, allowing a man to shoot and kill a doctor and a lawyer and wound a prosecutor.
The man who perpetrated the crime was supposed to have a split personality--one who can be kindly, and quite violent on another. A story in this daily said that the perpetrator was in the process of adopting a student who was living with him and whom he was very fond of. On the other hand, he was known to be a trouble-maker, making enemies at will.
But this is a matter that still has to be uncovered in the process of sorting out what really happened. The Supreme Court administrative officer who came to Cebu from Manila is possibly puzzled himself as he is unable to say what direction his inquiry should go. The security guards reportedly just frisked visitors and looked into their bags without thoroughly inspecting the visitors.
This means that the security in the Palace of Justice was really not that tight. Chief Insp. David Patriana of the PNP Crime Laboratory said they recovered a .45 pistol loaded with seven bullets inside the black sling bag of the suspect, John Pope. Also recovered from him was a .357 revolver with two bullets intact in its chamber.
It was also reported that SPO2 Zosimo Rabanes, who was on his way to a hearing in another courtroom, was the first to help the wounded prosecutor, Ma. Theresa Casiño.
Rabanes passed by Pope when he was walking upstairs. He was not in uniform, which was possibly why the Canadian did not fire at him.
Another police officer said he was in the comfort room when he heard the two gun shots. When he went back to the court room, he saw the doctor and the lawyer sprawled on the floor.
Froilan Quijano Jr,, Pope’s lawyer, told Sun.Star that he did not see any indication that his client “would go on a shooting rampage.” He said he met Pope last month to talk about the illegal possession of fire arms case he was facing. Quijano said that his services to the Canadian were free or pro bono. Pope was said to have complained about corruption in the Philippine justice system.
At any rate, what has transpired in our judiciary in the past few days--whether good or bad to its stability and honor--is something that we cannot fully dig deeper since all the “important” persons involved in it can no longer confirm or deny what really happened. We can only accept, admit, confirm or deny what had transpired, as second-hand sort of information, but not really as the truth in the real sense of the word.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 24, 2013.