Editorial: On being sober and ningas cogon-A A +A
Friday, January 25, 2013
THERE'S currently a flurry of efforts to beef up security in government buildings in response to the shooting incident involving Canadian national John Holdridge Pope at the Palace of Justice last Jan. 22. This is good, although it pays to also remind government officials to be sober when mapping out security measures they would put in place.
Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale, for example, has ordered blocking with a fence the emergency doors of Capitol’s legislative building. When occupants expressed the worry about being trapped during emergencies, building administrator Aniceta Pasaylo said the risks of shooting incidents like what happened at the Palace of Justice were higher.
Comparisons are odious and this one about which is riskier, shooting incidents or emergencies (like fire), is bad. There should be a better way of ensuring the safety of the building occupants both from shooting incidents and emergencies.
At the Palace of Justice, security has gotten extra tight, with security guards using hand-held metal detectors to frisk people who want to enter the building. Bags were also opened for inspection. Two policemen have been deployed there to help the guards.
Meanwhile, court judges met last Thursday to further discuss ways to beef up security in the building. Details of the meeting were not available, but the move itself signified that more and more people are contributing to efforts to improve security in the Palace of Justice.
What should be noted is that all of these moves are being done after the fact. On this, two things need to be considered.
One is that tackling security measures to put in place immediately after security was breached by Pope is good in the sense that the lessons learned from the incident are still easy to mine. Hopefully, the measures would be institutionalized and would not end up as a ningas cogon thing.
Which brings us to the second point. It would be a stretch to think that after Pope’s rampage, another person with a criminal bent would immediately follow his lead. If ever another attack would be attempted, that won’t happen in the next days or weeks or even years.
What we are saying is that security preparations are not an on-and-off move or an after-the-fact undertaking. It must be a continuing act.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 26, 2013.