IN the old days—let us say in the ‘80s and ‘90s--the police put premium on crime solution efficiency. It reached the point that when Panfilo Lacson, who is now a senator, became chief of the now defunct Cebu Metrodiscom, he listed as among his achievements the solution of all but one of the major crimes that happened under his watch. That made Lacson’s stint here a tough act to follow.
One of those who succeeded him as Metrodiscom chief, when asked by reporters to compare his record with that of Lacson, admitted his inadequacies but explained that luck did play a part in his predecessor’s success. But luck favors the determined and the aggressive. It’s like in basketball where the good and hard-working shooters always seem to get the so-called lucky bounce.
Late last month, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, head of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), expressed concerns over the rampant killings in Cebu. Nineteen deaths in 11 days, he said, should remind the police of the need for visibility and vigilance. Lawyer Jonnah John Ungab, vice mayor of the town of Ronda and legal counsel of self-confessed drug lord Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. was killed in February.
But it seems like the police have not stemmed the tide of killings despite the promise by PRO 7 Chief Robert Quenery to Davide. Last Sunday, a policeman was shot dead in Cebu City and another one suffered the same fate in Minglanilla on Tuesday. This was capped by the killing of San Fernando Councilor Alexander Alicaway on Wednesday near the town’s municipal hall.
It would be interesting to find out if the police will ever get to the bottom of these killings. Investigation into the killing of Ungab, a high-profile personality, has seemingly reached a dead-end and probes on the other high-profile killings here could suffer a similar fate. Imagine what is happening with killings involving ordinary people.
The failure to solve crimes actually contributes to the rise in crime incidents. When, say, killings are not solved, that would only embolden those with criminal minds. It’s called impunity, which is blanketing us again because the police—for one reason or another--seem to already place the act of solving crime incidents at the lower rungs of its priority, unlike in the old days.