WE have seen this process unfurl after every killing. Police probe. Victim’s relatives demand justice. Public uproar. Then the waning of interest.
As for justice? The result of the quest for justice is the variable in this process. It will be in the case of lawyer and Ronda town vice mayor Jonnah John Ungab. And more often than not the result of the quest depends on how determined law enforcers are to ferret out the truth.
There are two narratives in Ungab’s killing, the bigger one and the specific ones. The bigger story is the one involving his client, suspected big-time drug peddler Kerwin Espinosa, who is in detention. Espinosa is the son of Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., who was slain by policemen while in detention. Before that, the older Espinosa’s lawyer was killed by unidentified gunmen in Leyte.
This bigger story, in turn, is part of an even bigger narrative, which is the war on drugs by the Duterte administration.
Police investigators, meanwhile, are focusing on the specific, the one that involves Ungab only. One is political (he supposedly was planning to run for mayor of Ronda town). Second is work-related (including but not limited to his handling of Kerwin’s case). Third is personal.
But what is on the minds of many people is the bigger narrative. And one could not blame them for thinking that way; after all, the story of the Espinosas is one that is littered with bodies.
In focusing on the political, personal and work-related angles, the police are naturally doing that investigators have to do, which is to leave no stone unturned in the probe. Only after pieces of evidence are in should they come up with conclusions.
Still, the bigger narrative looms over this case. If nothing substantial will come out from the three angles they are considering, they need to focus on the bigger narrative. But would they go in that direction? Consider what happened to the killings of the older Espinosa and his lawyer. Justice wasn’t served there.
Which brings us to the question: Will the police be determined enough to look into the bigger narrative in Ungab’s slay?