Let’s reflect on Jesus’s sacrifices

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014


METRO Manila water officials are bracing for less water this Holy Week. In Cebu City, however, officials are on full alert for storm and flooding because of the low pressure area (LPA) sighted in Guiuan, Eastern Samar on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) officials are no longer worrying about the water to supply because Tuesday’s downpour somehow answered their prayers.

This would be my first rainy Holy Week in Cebu City in my more than 40 years of choosing Cebu as my second home. Holy Week has always been associated with hot summer days. Thus, most people go to the beaches to cool off during the Holy Week instead of reflecting on the sacrifices and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

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I remember that, in my college days, the rainy season usually begins in June when classes start. Well, blame the shift to climate change.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has called on the faithful not to spend their Holy Week in the beaches. He said Holy Week is not vacation week. Palma urged his flock to reflect on the sacrifices of Jesus Christ as we memorialize his crucifixion tomorrow.

“Holy Week is not really a vacation week. Choose another time to go to the beach. Semana Santa is not a time to swim or spend vacation,” Palma urged.

The Archbishop said God gave us this time and we must make good use of it in gratitude to the Lord. Let us not go swimming while the whole Christian world is in reflection.

But with the weather disturbance that caused Tuesday’s whole day rain fall, I don’t think people would still go to the beach. Residents along the shores and low-lying areas were advised to be extra vigilant for water surge or, as we call it in the past, tidal waves.

With the weather disturbance, business would not be the same for resort operators here in Cebu this Holy Week. Hence, let’s reflect on the sacrifices of Jesus Christ instead.

***

After more than two months of investigation, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) finally filed on Monday charges for murder and frustrated murder before the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office against officers of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 on the slay of lawyer Noel Archival and his two aides.

Although HPG 7 regional officer Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, Senior Insp. Eduardo Mara, Senior Insp. Joselito Lerion, chief clerk SPO4 Edwin Galan, PO1 Alex Bacani and seven others are still presumed innocent, the case is already a heavy burden on their shoulders.

Attorney Archival and his aides were on their way back to Cebu City from a hearing in Dumaguete City when they were waylaid gangland style in Barangay Corro, Dalaguete on Feb. 18. Archival, his aide Alejandro Jayme and his aide died on the spot. But Paulo Cortez, his other aide, survived.

The evidence against the HPG 7 police officers may be considered circumstantial, but for veteran prosecutors and lawyers this evidence, which could be corroborated by Cortez, is sufficient to prosecute the accused.

The pieces of evidence found in the red Toyota Vios that the NBI raided inside the HPG 7's impounding area could link the accused to Archival’s murder. Witnesses saw the Toyota Vios before the ambush.

As to the motive of the killing, the prosecutors could establish revenge since Archival filed criminal and administrative charges against the suspects before the Ombudsman for the military, police and other law enforcement affairs.

In fact, after the killing of Archival and his aides, what easily came to the mind of the public was that his killers were either elements of the rebel New People’s Army or the police. The process of elimination somehow pointed to the HPG 7 officers as the suspects.

The case against HPG 7 officers has not only muddied the already soiled image of the Philippine National Police (PNP), but it also indirectly showed that the “tuwid na daan” of President Noynoy Aquino is a failure as far as the police is concerned.

I wish the Archival case would serve as basis for the PNP hierarchy to streamline and improve its system and the operation of its field units. Aside from this case, allegations of corruption in HPG also abound.

(atty.ellieE@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 17, 2014.

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