Sign of the times?

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


THE shooting to death of Alcoy Police Chief Crisanto Abella Sunday night and the killing last week of a police officer during a raid of a drug den in Bohol are indications of lawlessness in our country today.

At the same time, the illegal drugs trade all over the country could be blamed for all the maladies we are into. The police’s best campaign against illegal drugs wasn’t good enough.

Narco-politics is already in our midst just like in Latin America but the government is mum about it. Even non-government organization activists appear nonchalant on this issue.

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But the region’s police headed by Chief Supt. Prudencio Bañas are serious in their campaign against illegal drugs. Supt. Rex Derilo of R2 told me in a chance meeting that they are going all over Central Visayas to enhance the drive against illegal drugs.

Although the shooting to death of Abella by barangay councilor Ciriaco de los Santos could not be directly attributed to illegal drugs, but talks were loud that the spat between the two was about the illegal drug problem in the town.

De los Santos shot Abella several times after allegedly drinking beer that night near the town gym where a boxing event was held. He even engaged the cops in a gunfight before he surrendered.

Alcoy deputy police chief SPO2 Primitivo Carungay described de los Santos, a dismissed cop, as the town’s toughie. He had several brushes with the law but nobody dared to file charges against him. Was it because he is a cousin of the mayor?

After the shooting and after the surrender of Ciriaco, Alcoy Mayor Nick de los Santos even said some ugly words about Abella, who no longer had the chance to refute him.

However, CPPO Director Noel Gillamac praised Abella, who had no records of abuses and had not been charged administratively or for any criminal offense. May Abella’s soul rest in peace!

***

The ugly reports we hear on TV and radio and read in newspapers every day are probably signs of the times. Some people no longer are fearful of God and they are not scared of the law and of law enforcers.

This could perhaps be because some law enforcers are themselves law breakers. People have lost respect for them. This is also true with our politicians who have squandered our national resources.

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Justice declared the three impeachment complaints against President Aquino as sufficient in form. In determining sufficiency in form, the principle of liberalism was applied, said Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas, Jr., the committee chairman.

The first and the second impeachment complaints accused President Aquino of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, and graft and corruption over the use of funds through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

The third impeachment case accused the chief executive of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust when he signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) with the United States.

The first complaint was filed by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and endorsed by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares. Reps. Antonio Tinio of ACT and Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela party-list endorsed the third complaint.

Although the three impeachment complaints passed the sufficiency in form stage, doubts were raised if the three cases would pass the substance test, which is the crucial part.

If the three impeachment complaints pass the substance test, then the House certifies them and elevates them to the Senate.

But with the majority of the congressmen belonging to the Liberal Party (LP), the President’s party, the possibility is high that the cases would not reach the Senate.

Let’s wait and see.

(atty.ellieE@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 28, 2014.

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