Editorial: Keep the courtrooms safe-A A +A
Thursday, January 24, 2013
THE fatal shooting inside a courtroom in Cebu on Tuesday that killed three people came as a shock not only to the Cebuanos but also to the whole nation. People are aghast over the incident and are searching for answers.
How did the gunman, 66-year-old John Pope, was able to elude security and sneak in two handguns inside the Palace Hall of Justice building and into the courtroom remains a mystery even to police authorities.
What's even more puzzling was that the killing happened when the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is presently implementing a nationwide gun ban.
But while investigators are still trying to extract explanation out of the bloody incident, security measures in other courtrooms have been heightened. Authorities immediately reacted and have imposed tighter security measures to avoid similar incident that stunned the Filipino people.
The Hall of Justice in Davao City along Ecoland, for one, immediately beefed up security measures a day after the bloodshed. Security guards search every bag and belongings of persons who enter the building, and policemen assigned to secure the edifice keep a tight watch of the premises starting Wednesday.
Executive Judge Pelagio Paguican of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 12 in Davao City issued a memorandum directing detailed police officer and security guards in the Hall of Justice to enforce a two-level security checking scheme, which calls for the presence of guards in the building's entrance and exit.
"In view of the unfortunate shooting incident in the Hall of Justice in Cebu, we directed all our detailed securities here to strictly impose security measures in our premises," Paguican had told Sun.Star Davao.
He was also scheduled to gather Thursday security guards and the detailed policemen in the Hall of Justice for security briefing.
Beefing up security measures at the Davao Hall of Justice as a result of that bloody incident in Cebu is a move most welcomed by everybody citizen in this part of the land.
Keeping our people safe is the foremost concern all the time, and every citizen must cooperate with authorities to help ensure that no untoward incident will happen in the city, especially inside courtrooms.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 25, 2013.