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ROUGH CUTS | The LTO is going high tech, but…

IT IS  barely nine 9 days before Christmas, and so far we haven’t heard of serious crimes against
persons and properties in Davao City. And if there are, we can safely claim those infractions as
insignificant or petty if we have to compare the same to the crimes committed in some previous holiday
We would like to believe that the attention of people including those with criminal intentions has
been focused on the come-backing pre-pandemic era when the freedom of movement is slowly being
restored with a vengeance. In tourism parlance the situation is like a “revenge travel.” In applying it to
the current situation it is like “revenge freedom of movement.”
The peaceful condition of the city seems to augur well in the first seven months of the administration
of new Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte. Of course we cannot help if some people will
believe that luck is on the side of the young Duterte considering that he came at a time when the city
was virtually purged with criminal elements by his father, former Mayor and President Rodrigo R.
Duterte, and feisty sister former Mayor now Vice President and Department of Education Secretary Sara
Duterte-Carpio. The two former city chief executives made a mark in their campaign against criminality
in the city.
Definitely, even with his well-placed base in his own peace and order campaign Baste has a lot of
things to do. What with the very high benchmark that he has to even with or perhaps surpass in terms
of outcome in his campaign.
And if the current peace and order situation of Davao City in his first seven months in office is to be
the gauge, Baste is likely to make good in replicating the very low criminality records of his father and
sister during their respective watch.
Of course he still has to navigate the remaining two and a half years in office. And if he lowers his
guard chances are he’ll end up being “submarined” by the dregs of Davao City’s society. The mayor
therefore must be wary.
Here is another case of violence committed against children. This time however, the perpetrator is a
non-relative of the victim, nor is he a close friend with whom the victim could have given full trust to the
person of the suspect.
We are referring to the incident of the hostage taking of a 9-year=old girl in Bunawan, Davao City the
other day, The suspect, a certain Nilo Mariano, according to the police, is one who is allegedly
“addicted” on the on-line game Mobile Legend (ML).

According to residents in the area near where the alleged “hostage taking” happened, the suspect
has been a regular customer in a computer shop day in and day out to the point that even his meal
appeared to have been skipped several times.
Then last Thursday, the suspect’s possible lack of sleep and hunger may have taken its toll on him
that he was already acting abnormally capped by his taking his victim at knife point. It was however, not
clear from both the police report and the statements of witnesses whether the hostage taker was
demanding for anything. What was clear was that there was an hour-long negotiation for the release of
the child hostage which the suspect eventually acceded.
And what an explanation made by the suspect when asked by the police why he did the dastardly
act. He claimed that he hear some voices telling him to take the child as hostage.
In other words, if we have to believe in the suspect’s statement he was unaware of his act and that
he was somehow possessed by evil spirits who influenced him to do his thing.
The hostage taking could have been a serious crime which had it not been aborted could have made
a major blot in the very low crime record of Mayor Baste’s less than a year administration.
But thank you that it was resolved to the satisfaction of the police and the people who were
expecting some major crime dramas to happen from that Bunawan child abuse incident.
The land Transportation Office (LTO) in Region XI located along Quimpo Blvd. is asking driver’s license
holders that are still in its paper form to get from the agency their laminated license. Its regional
Director lawyer Neil Canedo is saying that some four thousand laminated driver’s licenses are waiting for
the owners to claim at the same time warning them that by January LTO agents will be stationed along
with other traffic law enforcers from other agencies in various strategic locations. They are given
instruction to issue citation tickets to whoever driver still using the payment ORs as proof of their having
acquired a license.
And wow, the LTO is soon going to be “paperless” in their issuance of TOPs. They will be using the so-
called electronic TOP by January next year.
But we’d like to ask Director Neil Canedo what is the status of the issuance of LTO stickers which
drivers have been religiously paying since several years ago? Many drivers are complaining that until
now they have not been issued the stickers every after the renewal of their vehicle’s registration.


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