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ROUGH CUTS| Can the police restore public confidence?

SORRY, but we have to be honest with our feelings. We had one of the biggest scares in our life the other day. And it was courtesy of our former employer, the power distribution company in Davao City, and some neighboring towns and a city in the north.

Last Tuesday, we had the longest power interruption since January 2023. Electricity went off at about 3 in the afternoon and came back at exactly 11 pm. It was a good six hours from 3 to 8 pm, being unable to serve the needs of several customers patronizing our cold snacks and related items, and a total of five hours groping in the dark (from 6 to 11 pm) inside the house and at the back. We have no problem in the front yard as we have one functioning solar lamp.

We also feared that the long brownout would put an end to the lives of freshwater fishes that we have been raising for years now.  The 20 or so Kois, the three Arowanas, the Oscars, the goldfish, and others we could not remember the names were already gasping for oxygen. By the time the power came back at 11 and the pumps started functioning again, we checked on the aquatic animals, and we noticed the slowing of their movement. But in time, they were all okay.

Had the power outage continued a little longer, we are certain all of them would have died, like what happened to some of our 40 Kois in 2013 when a 13-hour interruption occurred due to a fallen bamboo grove hitting the power lines.

We really have no idea what happened, but we are certain the damaged paraphernalia or equipment was difficult to change or restore as it took the company’s crew hours to work on. Of course, gauged on the timeframe of the interruption, we are sure the power loss was an unscheduled one.  We checked the social media posts of the power firm on schedules of planned outages, and we saw none on the day for our area.

Our regret, though, is that with the outage, our children’s little enterprise experienced an unnecessary “cash flew” – and substantial at that. 


So, the Calinan Police Station commander at the time of the rape-slay incident in that barangay was relieved late last week? And his relief as ordered by Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director Col. Alberto Lupaz with the concurrence of Police Regional Office (PRO) Director Brig. Gen. Alden Delvo was because he failed to stave off a series of crimes in his Area of Responsibility (AOR), topped by the rape-killing of Vlanche Marie Bragas, a lady architect.

Yes, Police Maj. Neil M. Vistar, then Calinan Police Station chief, somehow had it coming when his men, who were supposed to be on duty that evening, allegedly failed to respond to the plea of the mother of the victim. The elder Bragas, a teacher, went to the police station to seek help after her daughter failed to arrive at their home hours after she informed her mom she was already waiting for a ride at the crossing of the road leading to the family residence only about half a kilometer away.

The death of the lady architect was only the beginning, as days after, abductions were reported with the supposed “persons of interest” as victims. Maj. Vistar may be clueless as to the abductions and other subsequent crimes, but certainly, he may have ideas of who could have perpetrated the same, especially the kidnapping of the possible suspects. But his having failed to prevent the commission of the crimes, or at least institute measures that could have secured the victims in order for them to be held accountable for their crimes if they were indeed the suspects, is one mortal sin in law enforcement.

Say, how come agents of another branch of another law enforcement unit had secured custody of one of the five persons of interest? With the suspect in the custody of the law, he can have his day in court and prove his innocence if, indeed, he did not do the crime.

But with the apparent complacency of the policemen then under Major Vistar, “persons of interest” are now either dead or missing. One was able to slip away. What then will it make of the plea of the victim’s relatives for justice?

And justice is not even fairly heaped on one of the possible suspects as some shadowy groups had already meted their sentence on one of the suspects even before a competent court determined his culpability. And we are referring to the dead suspect who was earlier abducted and was able to escape with signs of torture only to die later while on the way to the hospital for treatment.

We can only hope that Vistar’s replacement, P/Maj. Ricky Obenza, will be able to do what is or are expected of him about the sudden rise of crimes in Calinan.


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