Criminality, 2

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Friday, February 14, 2014


TAKE this as a continuation to my column yesterday, and hearken to a question that struck my mind when I visited the barangay where the shooting over the weekend occurred.

Talking to some inhabitants of Sitio Camanchile where the incident took place, I was bothered by what I learned. Now, where is truth?

What I wrote yesterday appeared to skim only the surface of what really happened. I remember telling the police yesterday that it might be hard to get the truth.

Certainly, the people of the barangay would be tight-lipped about what really happened since they would not want to be involved. Most would stay away from the law enforcers trying to put together the story about the killing.

The victims, as I wrote the other day, were participants in a game called “bulitsi,” an old game using Spanish cards that are sometimes used during a “wake” for the dead called “kulilising hari.”

At any rate, the trouble started with a spat between husband and wife. Perhaps, fearing the effect of the disturbance to the game where it is said a bet of P10 could win P80, someone called the police and reported the domestic quarrel, hoping perhaps to stop it.

But when the police are came, the quarrel had stopped and the game sort of broke up.

It was at this point when someone reportedly stoned the police car. According to the police chief, his men were lucky that only the fender was hit, not the window.

(At this point, someone told me that the reason why some inhabitants were angry at the media and are even contemplating to file a complaint is the fact that the printed reports in the two Cebuano dailies were conflicting. One was an inaccurate in reporting the incident, thus they think that its reporter actually visited Sitio Camanchile and got their side of the story, while Superbalita got only the side of the police.

The point here is that illegal drugs were reported to be prevalent in the barangay, and one victim, Rembrand Estan, was reported as a user. He was hit in the thigh and brought to the hospital.

It was slated to be amputated, but luckily the amputation was not pushed through and his limb was saved. Estan is still detained in the hospital. But he is one of the young kids whom the people say is not a trouble-maker at all, with a pleasant
disposition.

That he was pointed to in the Superbalita story as a drug user was an indication to the residents that it was sourced directly from the police, and the side of the residents was not taken.

This was also taken by the residents to indicate that the shooting was probably with the knowledge of the police, otherwise why would it happen just some minutes after the stoned police car left.

The motorcycle-riding perpetrator came and left, heading north towards Asturias. The question now, to my mind, is where is the truth? Who killed the “innocent” victims?

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 14, 2014.

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