More on John H. Pope-A A +A
Thursday, January 24, 2013
THE Palace of Justice slayings were no doubt serious occurrences that should not be taken lightly. But some things did amuse us as we pored over reports on the incident. Like when some people stumbled at times when mentioning the name of the perpetrator, John Holdridge Pope (or John H. Pope). One blurted “Pope John” and almost added “Paul” to it. “Pope John,” surely, is vastly different from “John Pope.”
Somebody also suggested to the Supreme Court that it designate Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Marcelo Garbo as security consultant for the Palace of Justice in the aftermath of Tuesday’s slayings and the wounding of an assistant city prosecutor. Indeed, wasn’t Garbo effective in securing the Provincial Capitol when Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale took over the reins of the Provincial Government from suspended Gov. Gwen Garcia?
And since we are smack into the election season, trust politicians to wiggle into the incident.
I heard, for example, an interview of Rep. Tomas Osmeña, who is running for Cebu City mayor against reelectionist Mayor Michael Rama. He talked about receiving a text message from an ally informing him that the doctor who was slain by Pope already complained to Rama about the acts of the Canadian national.
“What did he (Rama) do?” Osmeña asked. He did have a bit of a point there, but only a wee bit.
Because solving the Pope problem was mainly the function of the courts where his cases were being heard. Still, Osmeña did try to sneak in one against Rama—-like he always does.
But there was something positive in the Rama-Osmeña politicking, with the surviving victim of Pope’s rampage, Assistant Cebu City Prosecutor Ma. Theresa Casiño, as beneficiary. Both Rama and Osmeña promised to shoulder the hospital expenses of Casiño, who is currently in the intensive care unit of Chong Hua Hospital. They would shoulder the expenses, but using government money, of course.
Reminds me of the political tug-of-war between Osmeña and businessman Jonathan “Atan” Guardo going into the 2010 elections for the congressional post in Cebu City’s south district. Both competed to help to relatives of those who died at that time, giving coffins and loaning tents. As a result, the city government racked up huge debts from funeral firms.
Incidentally, everybody seems to know either a bit or a big chunk of Pope. Which is proof of how “popular” the man was before he went on a rampage at the Palace of Justice and died. I found out recently that a fellow Sun.Star Cebu columnist knew Pope more than I did. It turned out that he inherited the leadership of the homeowners group in the condo where Pope once lived. He described Pope as “sira-ulo.”
He and his wife sounded relieved when they talked about Pope’s demise. Dealing with Pope must have been difficult for his former neighbors. But the man was assessed differently by those who benefited from his “kind” side. I heard a reporter of a radio station say that one of his children was a “scholar” of Pope until 2010, when he stopped giving them money for tuition. That time, his focus was already on the conflict he was engaged in and the cases he subsequently faced.
So it seems like Pope was seen differently by two different sets of people. But whatever impression these people had on the man, they didn’t seem to have an inkling that he would snap and go on a shooting binge.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 25, 2013.