Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Briones: In question

On the go

NEXT time, don’t offer a big bounty.

The P2 million that had been dangled for any information that would lead to the arrest of the culprits in the gruesome death of Christine Lee Silawan is being used to question the authorities’ motive for taking into custody persons who might have something to do with the crime.

It came up when Jonas Martel Bueno was nabbed in Davao City last March 15. Much more so because he was neither a person of interest nor a suspect in the eyes of local police. Yet authorities in Davao City and Metro Manila presented him to the public as if he were.

Anyway, some sectors brought up the “convenient” timing of his arrest, which happened a day or a couple of days after the bounty reached P2 million.

Of course, the cynics—and there are many when you live in such a country—started to talk.

After all, why would you give money to agencies that are only doing their jobs? With or without the bounty, the police and the National Bureau of Investigation have no choice but to investigate Silawan’s murder.

I mean, I’m sure the persons who offered “financial incentives” for the capture of the perpetrator or perpetrators did so because they cared. The foreign national from Leyte who said he would give P500,000 was moved and outraged by the gruesome fate that befell the girl, and not because the midterm elections is two months away.

So I guess the P1 million Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza offered and the P200,000 that Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said the Provincial Council for the Welfare of Children would give to ensure the speedy resolution of the case were all because of the goodness of their hearts and not because Radaza is running for the lone congressional seat of the city and Magpale is running for governor.

If the former was the case, wouldn’t it make more sense if they gave all that assistance to the victim’s family? God knows, the family needs it.

If I’m not mistaken, President Rodrigo Duterte gave P20,000 to the Silawans. Take note, the President did not offer any money to help capture her killers. Instead, he gave marching orders to law enforcement agencies to find them as soon as possible.

And they did. But the mother of Silawan’s ex-boyfriend who was arrested by the NBI is now saying her son was taken into custody so authorities could claim the reward money. Never mind if there is evidence, albeit circumstantial, to connect the boy to the incident.

So there you have it. Because of the reward money, the authorities’ motive for bringing in suspects has automatically become suspect. It doesn’t help when we don’t know who gets what and how much.


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