OVER THE past few months, we have been hearing and reading reports on a series of rape cases in Davao City. However, we have yet to hear reports of any of the suspected rapists apprehended by the police. We heard loose talks from the grapevine that, in some cases, the suspects were men in uniform. Of course, we are not ready to believe this, so far, baseless suspicion.
The latest rape case that came to our knowledge only yesterday morning is the one in Calinan District. By the time the information was shared with us by a family friend who is more than just an acquaintance to the victim’s parents, the reported rape may not have yet formally been brought to the attention of the Calinan Police.
The victim in this latest moral crime is a fresh college graduate from a local Davao university. One of her parents is already dead.
According to our informant, the mother told her friends that the victim was expected to arrive home at 10 pm on Tuesday, but by 1 a.m., she was not yet in the house. The family owns a car, but the victim just opted to take a public utility vehicle to meet some friends. Upon arrival in Calinan, some witnesses saw the victim take an “Ombac” tricycle as her residence is in the interior of Calinan Poblacion. That was the last time the victim was seen alive.
The frantic search ended up in a banana plantation a few kilometers away from the victim’s residence at about 6 am yesterday. She was cold and dead, with signs that she was sexually attacked.
With the police literally clueless these days on the suspects of the heinous crime, many are raising the question of whether the series of rape cases is done by a serial rapist or by a different suspect or suspects each time the rapes were perpetrated.
Of course, we can understand that the police have a hard time tracing the suspect or suspects as even the victims and their parents are hesitant to complain because of the stigma of shame of what happened.
Perhaps it is about time the DDS legend should start getting revived. Maybe this shadowy group can instill a climate of fear for those doing the crime against morality. The rape crime is, after all, abominable and its rise could even be an offshoot of the heinous drug use prevalence.
Now we know that the case of the Cave Café in the foggy Marilog area has something to do with the issue of lack of harmonization in the government regulation of the utilization of our natural resources.
This we learned after hearing the deliberation of the Davao City Council the other day where it was revealed that agencies and offices issued the permits and licenses of the Café operation from different regions and local government units with conflicting claims of jurisdiction over the areas mentioned.
One example is the issuance of clearances by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) offices. It was disclosed at the Sanggunian session that these were granted by the DENR XII and not by the DENR XI, where the Cave Café is in its jurisdiction. Also, the business permit was issued by the local government of Arakan. Then the other legal documents required were all notarized in Davao City. There are also documentary requirements that were reportedly issued by DENR Region 10.
What would that show but the lack of harmonization in the delineation of jurisdiction and performance of responsibilities by the respective LGUs?
Besides, if our memory serves us right, we remember that there were already surveys conducted in the past, and the boundaries of each province claiming part of the Marilog area were already established.
What happened to the final survey result? Was it ignored or forgotten by the local governments involved?
If these gray areas in the determination of jurisdiction will not be resolved, then we can be certain that the utilization of the resources of the Marilog areas will be hardest to regulate as the LGUs with conflicting claims will be “to each his own.”
And with the revelation of the Marilog situation in the other day’s Davao City Sanggunian Session, we believe that it is urgent the LGU of Davao City revisits the survey earlier conducted in regards to boundaries and moves to pursue it if it were stalled for whatever reason.
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