Editorial: Dumpit’s conviction

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014


NEARLY 10 years after he shot a 17-year-old snatching suspect, the police officer Adonis Dumpit was sentenced yesterday to spend six to nine years in prison for the teenager’s death.

It could have been worse for Dumpit. But Cebu Regional Trial Court Judge Ester Veloso decided that the prosecution had failed to prove treachery or abuse of superior strength on Dumpit’s part, so he was held liable for homicide, instead of murder.

It could have been worse, too, for the family of Ronron Go. Dumpit could have been granted a get-out-of-jail pass, after three years in detention. At least, the officer’s conviction offers them a measure of justice for the loss of their son’s life.

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Yet, overall, the story one gleans from the records of the case is one of loss, for both parties. Testimonies from both prosecution and defense show that had different choices been made, the entire sorry affair could have been avoided. Dumpit had warned Go not to run, when they met in an alley in Barangay Tejero, while the policeman followed up on a robbery complaint. Dumpit told the court he had fired a warning shot.

“Such a warning would have given the victim a chance to make a conscious choice of what to do next,” the judge said.

Go, perhaps, could have returned the silver necklace that the robbery complainant had lost while in jeepney that sad day. The complainant, who was then 14, later identified Go as the same individual who had robbed her. But by then, he was dead—just another body on a public hospital bed, just another figure who would get lost in the city’s crime statistics.

Because the case is so old, many will have forgotten that it wasn’t Dumpit and Go’s first encounter. Dumpit himself testified that two years before that fatal run-in in one of Tejero’s alleys, he had picked up Go after the boy’s grandmother asked for his help. “They could no longer control him.

They had no money to send him to a rehabilitation center,” the court records said.

The court, at this level, has done what it could do. But for both parties, the ordeal, now 10 years running, remains unfinished. The appeals process waits. One young man remains dead; a decorated police officer’s career remains in limbo. Where is that silver chain that set off this chain of events? No one seems to know.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 06, 2014.

Opinion

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