The residents of houses in the vicinity of the tall building that was damaged on one of its sides during the strong earthquake last Friday are now “safely” back after they were ordered to temporarily vacate their houses. The multi-level structure is located at the corners of MacArthur Highway and Sandawa Road in Matina.
The order to vacate was made as a safety precaution made by authorities as the intensity of the temblor was suspected to have affected the integrity of the building construction. Meaning, there was need to conduct inspection and assessment on the edifice to ensure that there are no chances of the building to collapse.
The inspection was probably done in lightning speed as the residents who were ordered to temporarily vacate possibly right after the Friday afternoon earthquake were reported to be allowed back last Saturday.
We have no idea who conducted the inspection of the building and when. Did the inspector include building regulators, some structural engineering experts, or just personnel of the construction firm or owners of the high-rise structure?
We are just asking because it is the safety of the residents in the immediate vicinity of the building that is at stake in this case.
It was only yesterday that the real magnitude of the damage brought about by the intensity 6.8 earthquake last Friday afternoon started to show. The bulk of course is in the municipalities of Sarangani Province and General Santos City. Some malls have collapsed portions, houses flattened, public buildings like the Municipal Hall of Glan, highways, ports suffered huge cracks, landslides burying houses and a few residents as well as rendering certain areas inaccessible.
From television reports quoting the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (NDRRMO), it can be gauged that rehabilitation of damaged public infrastructure could cost billions of pesos. Also, the cost of helping human victims of the earthquake could amount to several hundreds of millions. It will certainly be a long and tedious process.
Indeed this calamity is another major bar to the efforts of government to recover from the catastrophe that lasted for almost three years – the CoViD 19 pandemic which brought the Philippine economy to its knees.
Of course the Filipino people are known for their resilience in any given situation – may these be flood, super typhoons, armed attacks like that of Marawi, and even tsunamis that hit only sometime in July of 1976 in the Cotabato coastal areas.
We are hoping that should there be another calamitous event to hit the country, it would not be too soon; that the time gap will allow the complete rehabilitation and recovery of the areas struck by the recent earthquake.
Whatever happened to the prominent cases filed in Davao City against some well-known personalities who were allegedly involved in sensational crimes?
We are referring to the down-graded homicide case against a doctor who shot to death a teenager outside of a local bar over a year ago. Another is the case against a brigadier general of the Philippine Army who was tagged as the mastermind in the killing of a businesswoman who sidelined as model and reported to be the general’s paramour. The two cases are only a few of the many sensational crimes brought to court that until now are appearing to be slowly “flushed” into the canal of forgotten memories.
How we hope that the Supreme Court will finally come up with a policy compelling all the courts under its jurisdiction to regularly render reports to the public on the status of certain cases that are under its domain with the country’s highest court leading the way.
It is our view that the two crimes were public in nature, therefore the public deserves to know what the status of the subsequent cases filed against the suspected perpetrators are.
For now it is only at the initiative of either the accuser or the accused, and the media to find ways to know the progress of the cases. If they do not do anything then they will be facing a solid darkness on the status of the cases.
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