Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Bzzzzz: Brazen killing of cop at Danao City RTC raises problem of security in the courts

CEBU. Responders and members of SPO2 Francis Villamor's family rushed to the Regional Trial Court office in Danao City after he was shot Thursday, March 21, 2019. (Contributed photo)

PEOPLE are talking about...

* KILLING OF A COP AT RTC LOBBY. Not in the vicinity of the court but in a part of the Danao City court, at the lobby (or, as initial reports said, at the courtroom door or partly inside the sala). SPO2 Francis Villamor was shot first on the shoulder, then on the head, after the gunman returned to see if he was dead, before he fled.

The shooter was wearing a facemask, which he must have worn just before the shooting. The RTC sala is part of the City Hall complex in Danao City where the brazen attack on the cop was made. First reports said Villamor was involved in operations against illegal drugs.

The public and very open assault was probably aimed to make a statement: the killers could strike even in the halls of justice.

Inevitably, the incident will raise the issue of security: Was it adequate? Did guards and police enforce security measures? Do the courts have security cameras and other equipment?

While the "usual suspects" here are the drug traffickers who wanted the cop liquidated, other angles cannot be ruled out, such as a hit by persons other than some drug lord's minions. More investigation into the cop's activities might provide clues as to which theory would fit the killing.

Mike at rally for Sara

Former Cebu City mayor Mike Rama used his classroom type of talking to a group at the PDP-Laban political rally attended by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpo, who heads Hugpong ng Pagbabago. She is in Cebu for a sortie of at least two days starting Thursday (March 21).

Mike, now running for vice mayor, would say, like, "Ang atong kandidato pagka-mayor si Edgar..." and the audience would finish it, "...Labella."

Mike Rama spoke as briefly as the other speakers, not the usual style for Mike but it matched with the pace and tone of the rally.

'Won't hold water'

IT SMELLS. Why a number of people are asking why the government chose China over Japan on the water project:

* The Chinese project costs twice more than the Japanese offer ($800 million ) for the same capacity (600 million liters a day) and would take 54 months (compared to the Japanese bid of 36 months);

* The Chinese deal will be financed by a loan, payable with two percent interest, eight times higher than the interest of most Japanese loans; the Japanese offer will be under a turnover arrangement.

The Chinese contract and its being compared to the Japanese offer surfaced only because of the water crisis in Manila and the rest of the country. The contract was signed during the Chinese president's visit and the bidding was limited to three Chinese firms whose names were submitted by China.

An Inquirer editorial of March 20 noted the response of the MWSS administrator rejecting questions about the project, saying it was "a done deal." "It was the kind of suspicious dismissal of basic good sense," Inquirer said, "that won't hold water."


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