Visit page
Press "Enter" to skip to content

ROUGH CUTS| Why the city cannot escape the floods

HOW IS the search of the Special Investigating Task Group (SITG) for the ombac tricycle used in the abduction, rape and slaying of a lady architect in Calinan over a month ago? And how is its effort to know the identity of the owner of the tricycle? Does the SITG already have lead in their probe?

We do not know but it looks like the case is slowly swept under the rug of forgetfulness. The SITG is not giving any updates to the public. And we haven’t heard also from the side of the victim’s family. Is the public made to believe that the family of the rape-slay case victim losing any hope that the police will be able to fully solve the case of their relative?

Yes, a suspect is arrested and now in the law enforcers’ custody. One is already dead after being sentenced “in advance” by shadowy groups coming from nowhere. Another had been abducted and since then has not been accounted for. And still another suspect the police cannot identify except as John Doe has reportedly succeeded in eluding the police dragnet.

The cases against the arrested suspect, though, lack strength. The police have not gotten hold of the tricycle, a material evidence in the case.  And without the identity of the owner of the vehicle, no one can confirm that the suspect in custody was the one driving the unit on that particular day. And here lies the weakness of the case filed by the police.

And it is worth warning the still unidentified owner that he could be implicated in the cases filed by the victim’s family. By not coming out voluntarily and revealing the whereabouts of the tricycle unit, he is liable for obstructing justice.

Personally, we suspect that with the owner’s continued non-cooperation with the police, it is likely that the driver could be a close member of his family. Why would he keep the police in the dark if he is not protecting the interest of the suspect?


We have no doubt that by now, the local officials of Davao City know exactly what areas here are flood-prone. The latest to suffer from the wrath of the water was Tibungco going to Lasang.

Yet until now, it appears that anti-flood projects are not focused on these areas. The LGU has not yet developed a strict “No Build Zone” ordinance in places known to be regularly hit with floods. Hence, the rivers in these places easily overflow every time heavy rain in the uplands submerging houses along the river banks or those built in the usual waterways – the low-lying areas.

On the other hand, there seems to be no let-up in the issuance of permits to develop areas in the suburban peripheries, including hillsides, into large residential subdivisions. These subdivision projects are actually concrete examples of what environmentalists claim as “development aggression.”

Today large subdivision developers are already invading the plains of barangays Ula, Biao, Tacunan, Talomo River and many others. They gobble up lands by hundreds of hectares for their projects. In the process of developing the subdivisions, they are cutting every coconut trunk and other standing trees to give way to future houses. Thus, rainwater from the higher grounds comes rushing without any hindrance on its way.

And anybody who has passed the Magtuod-New Carmen-New Valencia by-pass road will not miss seeing the “rape” of the hillsides to give way to high-end residential enclaves.  Now it is all goodbyes to the trees that used to green the hillsides with their roots sipping the water that flows on the sites.

When the subdivisions are fully developed, and houses are already built with roads and surroundings concreted, what is left of the soil’s absorptive capacity? Meanwhile, the water going to the drainage is emptied to no other waterway but the nearest river or creeks adding to the overflowing speed.

Of course, we can understand why our local lawmakers are hesitant to craft laws that restrict the development of subdivisions where the city’s zoning ordinance does not prohibit it. They are also not enthusiastic about passing local laws that will deprive people of the right to build residential houses in places they want to, even if these are known to be prone to flooding. They cannot afford to court the ire of their prospective supporters during local elections. So they forget about the mantra that “development is measured in terms of the much bigger number of beneficiaries as against the sufferers.”


Powered By ICTC/DRS
WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com