Editorial: Stopgap

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

COULD identifying and charging of raps against two of the 15 rob suspects in a jewelry shop heist inside a mall on July 22 only be a stopgap?

Charging rob suspects to get warrant of their arrests is apt, but where will it lead to? Will they ever be found? How long do the public need to wait and the victims to get justice?

This update with the heist isn’t new at all.


The 2013 blast that rocked, traumatized and scarred residents and visitors in the city on July 26 had police identified Usman Hapids as one of the blast suspects and charged six persons.

But, what has happened since then? Well, it seemed to have died down after Hapids had been seen through the computer sketch and the raids in the possible lairs where he could be hiding which yielded no Hapids at all.

The blast victims have been suffering in silence and may be have put justice in the hands of the God’s they believe in. They might have moved on and surely still carried the scars brought by the tragedy that could have changed their lives.

It seems that finding, identifying and charging raps against suspects are the easiest way out to show the public the police are doing something. But what will happen next?

Is this worth praising the police? Tapping their shoulders for a job well-done?

City Mayor Oscar Moreno backs the leadership of city police chief Graciano Mijares believing that changing the police leadership in the city is detrimental. He even urges the critics to let Mijares do his job. And what is startling even is that former Mayor Vicente Emano agreed with Moreno’s decision.

Letting Mijares stay is reasonable. But, the public needs results.

Lo and behold, two suspects have been identified and charged in the jewelry heist. Good job!

It must not be easy to go after criminals who have strong network, worst, with a strong protection from influential and powerful people behind them. This must have been preventing the police and making it difficult for them to arrest these criminals doing daring acts in their face.

And what has happened to the civil society organizations which made noise last year in the height of the robberies among students and ordinary people? Where are they now? Weren’t those crimes still the same crimes the community is experiencing now?

Perhaps, this stopgap is there to douse the flame and bring these criminal acts into oblivion as crimes come and go.

However, the involvement of the civil society organizations, the church, community, and the people could possibly turn the tide.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 06, 2014.


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