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ROUGH CUTS |  Baste’s ‘baptism of fire’

NEWLY seated Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte is given his baptism of fire on the very day he started his term.

     We say “baptism of fire” because what happened early dawn of last Friday in a local bar will certainly test the mettle of the new mayor in deciding how he will mitigate the impact of last Friday’s incident in his thrust to sustain the peace and order situation obtaining in the city during his father’s and sister’s terms as mayors. 

     Last Friday  (or was it Saturday?) early dawn a medical doctor who is a non-uniformed personnel of the Police Regional Office (PRO) XI shot and killed another customer of the bar the doctor was in. We are certain that the young mayor is familiar with the family of the suspect doctor. Some personalities bearing  the doctor-suspect’s family name had been involved in some controversial incidents in the past that for some time they dominated the front page of local newspapers. Whether he is related to them or not we have no idea so far.

     We do not know as well what triggered the incident in the local bar but it must be something of a deep hatred or hurtful because it caused a medical practitioner to impulsively draw a gun and shot the victim who is reported to be years younger than the suspect.

     The question though is how come a civilian was able to enter the establishment carrying a gun with him? It could only mean that the suspect could be packing with some degree of influence to the bar owners or managers. It could also be possible that the managers of the bar are not seriously implementing the ban on carrying firearms by anyone whether he is a civilian or law enforcer (when the latter is not on duty). Moreover, the shooting happened when the supposed curfew hours were still in effect in the city.

     And as expected the PRO XI was in a defensive mode when its spokesperson claimed that non-uniformed personnel of the police are not issued firearms. The spokesperson added that the doctor could be carrying with him his licensed personal gun since any civilian who is qualified to apply for a license will be issued one.

      The lady police mouthpiece though failed to explain why the suspect somewhat freely carried his gun when a ban is still in effect. Of course there is the possibility that the suspect doctor could have acquired a permit to carry a firearm. As to why he got the permit we could only assume that it could only be his personal or his family’s influence that gave him the privilege. Unless of course the Police Regional Office will agree that the guy’s life is constantly in danger because of the existence of enemies.

    Now as to why the crime is detrimental to Baste as mayor and it looks like his “baptism of fire”, it is because the incident happened on the very start of his term and somewhat a major challenge to his resolve to sustain the gains of the city in its peace and order initiatives.

     It is how the new mayor will make the police or other probe bodies conduct a fair and honest investigation into the circumstances of the case and how they will treat the suspect, he being an influential component of the PNP civilian support group.

     We can only hope that the PRO XI will be true to its words that “it will not interfere in the investigation.” The PNP Regional Office, we assumed, is allowing other law enforcing unit to do the investigation based on the spokesperson’s statement. That is one good idea. However, it is not a guaranty that interference cannot be done by them or anyone of its “agents.”

     And this is where Mayor Baste must be wary about.

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     We hit it right. We mean our earlier guess that newly-assumed Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio will bring along with her to Manila lawyer Zulyka Lopez, her City Administrator during the times she was mayor of Davao City.

     But we are not quite familiar with the one who is tapped by Mayor Baste to replace Lopez’s position although his family name is quite familiar to us. Yes, he is lawyer Francis Layug who we assume, is closely related or belonging to the Layug family in Mintal, Davao City. 

     So far the City Administrator’s Office is the only one Department at city hall with its head moved by VP Sara to help her run the Office of the Vice President (OVP). If there will be other departments we have yet to know.

     And by the way we congratulate former City Tourism Operations Officer Gene Rose Tecson. Though she will remain based in Davao City she now has to give up her post to assume a new responsibility given her by VP Sara. She now heads the Davao City-based satellite office of the OVP which is established to make sure that whatever services the said office is to deliver will be done nearest to those who need these.

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     We are extending our condolences to the family of the late lawyer Noe Laguindam who passed away recently. Atty. Noe was a close friend and former co-employee of ours at the Commission on Population.

     May he rest in eternal peace.

   

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