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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mongaya: Reconsider the bodyguards

AFTER giving out P50,000 rewards for the deaths of big Cebu City drug lords Jaguar and Yawa, it is not difficult to conclude that Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña became a likely target for resbak by the drug syndicates.

This was most likely in the mayor’s mind when he facilitated the release and assignment of SPO1 Adonis Dumpit as his bodyguard, along with two others.

But alas, the new batch of police officers in Central Visayas and Cebu City are not content with the removal of Mayor Osmeña’s control over the local police. Dumpit and two others were relieved as the mayor’s security detail. These police officials know they are exposing Mayor Osmeña as an easy target for possible hitmen of local drug syndicates.

If we do not consider behind-the-scenes politics, it is difficult to understand why the police are turning a blind eye on former mayor Mike Rama who was named by President Rody Duterte as a drug protector.

Instead, they are going hard on Mayor Osmeña now even as the mayor’s political enemies are only saying he will soon join the next list. Pulos lang eng- eng-eng.

Nonetheless, I hope cooler heads from all sides in this controversy will prevail. Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, for instance, says the mayor deserves security escorts.

I also hope that, fresh from the cool climate in the US and news of being cancer-free, Mayor Osmeña won’t up the ante some more. Besides, despite the continued opposition propaganda to make him the drug lord protector, President Rodolfo Duterte included the name of former mayor Rama instead.

***

I have long finished watching the television series “Narcos,” which was about Pablo Escobar. The guy built his own prison complex that he used as his headquarters. It seems Philippine prisons in different parts of country have also become trading hubs of illegal drug syndicates.

Some P4.6 million in cash and P1 million in shabu had been found in Cebu’s two biggest prisons. Heads should roll.

I’m now reading “Narcoland,” a book about Mexico’s narcotics world and the rise of El Chapo. The book mentions incidents of corrupt Mexican police officials removing the security details of certain targets thus making it easy for sicarios, Spanish for hitmen.

But there’s one thing I find different in the Philippine version of the drug wars. It seems the local syndicates, take for example the Espinosa gang, are so in disarray that they failed to mount effective counter strikes. With Kerwin still in hiding reportedly in Malaysia while his father is in a Cebu City hospital, the Leyte police raided the Espinosa lair and netted shabu, guns, and ammo.

President Duterte and PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa enjoy the initiative in the ongoing drug war.

I think they can maintain this by reliance on accurate information so collateral damage is reduced to a minimum. In so doing, they conserve President Duterte’s political capital.

***

But one thing that could erode President Duterte’s base of support is his decision to allow the burial of the late dictator as a hero.

Marcos faked his World War 2 record. Though he became a president, he died in disgrace. These are historical facts. A million of online trolls pushing lies would not change this.

Burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani won’t make Marcos a hero. Instead, it desecrates the memories of real heroes.

Worse, Marcos was the villain in our heroic struggle to end the dictatorship. Burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani tramples on the heroism of Filipinos who fought the Marcos dictatorship. It repudiates several generations’ struggle for freedom and democracy.

(@anol_cebu in Twitter)
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