Sunday, October 17, 2021

Editorial: Solve cold cases

Editorial Cartoon by Enrico Santisas

Death is a certainty; however, it arrives like a gust of wind, or a hard object that falls all of a sudden.

The life of Chris Brainer Q. Ugsang was brief. It was cut short after a steel traffic barrier fell on the 11-year-old boy on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. The boy suffered severe injuries on his head. Strong winds knocked down one of three steel barriers that the Cebu City Transportation Office had placed along the road leading to the Commission on Elections office during the filing of certificates of candidacy from Oct. 1 to 8. The boy died in the hospital.

The Waterfront Police Station has launched an investigation on the incident, and Waterfront police chief Capt. Edgar Labe said they want to determine if there was negligence on the part of the boy’s parents, according to reports.

Ugsang, who came from a poor background, had accompanied his mother, a candle vendor, and his grandfather, a vendor of bottled water. The boy was the second of four children. He had no father, who succumbed to an unspecified illness. On Tuesday, Oct. 12, Ugsang was laid to rest in Carreta Cemetery.

Clarissa, Ugsang’s mother, decided not to press charges against the Cebu City Government. Her family was promised burial and financial assistance from the City, and the family reportedly refused to cooperate with the police in their inquiry.

Labe said the Waterfront police will ask the boy’s kin to cooperate with them in the investigation after the funeral, saying they were left hanging. The incident, he said, had not been recorded on the blotter of barangay and police station.

Ugsang’s family, for sure, is still in pain over the boy’s sudden death. The family had also stated it would not resort to legal action against the City Government.

Perhaps, the mother was negligent in letting her son roam the streets. Perhaps, the mother, a widow, was too busy selling candles so she could put food on her table that she forgot where her son was.

The family is emotionally wounded. If the mother would be charged, the family’s pain could unravel.

The Waterfront Police Station is under the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO). If the Waterfront police would push through with the filing of criminal complaints against the boy’s parents, it would be tantamount to rubbing salt into their wounds.

It would be better for the CCPO leadership to tell Waterfront police to let the case rest.

The CCPO has several unsolved cases.

The recent murders of freelance radio commentator Rey Cortes, human rights lawyer Rex Fernandez and Akhro fraternity leader Richard Buscaino are still unsolved. These cases and other murders of known individuals and lowly carried out by unidentified perpetrators.

Several families of murder victims are still waiting for justice. And justice can only be served if the perpetrators are caught, tried and convicted.

Injustice is a certainty when murders are kept in cold case folders.


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