Who are they protecting?
DAY 1 of this month was marred by two gruesome crimes: the murder of 13-year old Madelaine Faith Goyena who was stabbed multiple times by more likely not just one person but by a group who most probably were under the influence of prohibited drugs and the rape of a 12-year old girl by an operator of the illegal game hataw identified only as “Gildo”. The link to drugs and illegal gambling make the crimes even more repulsive.
And so it was a more than welcome development that the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the representatives of Dagupeños in the city government, has taken the initiative to invite police authorities to appear before the council and discuss the peace and order situation. It is surprising though that a minority – led by Councilor Brian Lim, son of the mayor, and backed up by Councilors Redford Erfe-Mejia and Chester Gonzales, the youth representative in the SP being the Sangguniang Kabataan chair – resisted, but failed to stop, the discussion. (Councilor Guillermo Vallejos, as usual, disappeared before voting). Lim’s argument was that the rights of people who might be mentioned in the discussion could be violated and that the SP has no power to summon personalities, even for just a simple inquiry. As for Gonzales, he seems to have neglected the fact that the victims were members of the sector he is supposed to be representing. Erfe-Mejia, meanwhile, could just have been living up to his role as a blind member of the minority. Their resistance was indeed baffling. Why wouldn’t they want to know the real score so that the council can help the city government address the problem? Who are they protecting?
Just a couple of days before the SP inquiry attended by Senior Inspector Junmar Gonzales, police intelligence officer, three murders took place on June 14-15 with all victims either known to be or suspected drug dealers. Investigation is ongoing and the police have yet to determine whether the killings are related to an ongoing drug war in this city, which has come to be known as an illegal drug hub, or an act of vigilantes who are starting to take matters into their own hands. Either way, the peace and order situation in Dagupan is not looking so peaceful or orderly. The city government and police authorities need to talk about it and act to improve the situation.
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Koko versus Migz
KOKO Pimentel is invoking principle over his refusal to be in the same senatorial ticket with Migz Zubiri in the 2013 mid-term election. Koko says, “I can not stand on the same platform with a cheat (Migz).” A hurting Migz counters, “I am not a cheat. That is unfair of Koko to keep calling me a cheat.”
It took Koko four years to win his protest against Migz, who resigned last year before the verdict that was widely perceived as favouring Pimentel could be announced. There is a notion that Migz benefited from election cheating in 2007. But if Migz was a cheat himself, that remains to be proven.
In another election a while back, Koko’s father, Nene, had also accused Juan Ponce Enrile of cheating. Then, they ran under one ticket. Will history repeat itself? The answer is in Koko’s hands.