In our last column we inquired about the status of the case of the missing housemaid of a Police Major who was relieved from his post as Toril Police Station Commander after the parents publicly aired their complaints. On the day that our column came out in this paper, a story on the same case was also published. One of the items in the story was on the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI’s) announcement in a press conference that it was conducting a parallel probe on the case. The bureau’s spokesman told the local media that it was possible that an order to conduct a probe by his agency may have been come to the agency’s Southeastern Mindanao Office from its national headquarters on request by Sen. Raffy Tulfo with whom the family of the missing housemaid, Justine Mae Saldua from Monkayo, Davao de Oro, sought assistance.
The other item on the same news report was the disclosure of lady P/Capt. Hazel Tuazon, spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) that has ordered an investigation on the case through, again, another Special Investigation Task Group (SITG).
Unfortunately, contrary to the public’s expectation, what Captain Tuazon announced was not any result of the probe but the “conclusion” of the third conference on the case.
The SITG Saldua, according to Captain Tuazon, is still doing its best to resolve the case, adding that the Task Group members are also hoping to locate the house helper.
It has been over a month since the creation of the SITG, yet the members, despite enlisting the support of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and “other law enforcement agencies and the cooperation of the missing house helper’s parents,” the spokesperson of the DCPO was not able to mention anything that could lead the public to believe that the SITG has gained any progress on its investigation.
We cannot therefore blame if some people would espouse doubts on the outcome of a probe especially when the one subject to the inquiry is one of the probers’ own.
Meanwhile, with the entry of the NBI on the fray, the parents and relatives of the missing housemaid are hoping that finally they will be able to get the justice that they believe deserving of them.
But we are certain that the parents may already be hopeless as far as their wish to see their daughter alive. But with the belief that the NBI is one impartial investigating body there is the possibility that if their daughter was a victim of foul play the perpetrators will finally be unmasked and prosecuted.
We can only hope that the NBI will be able to live by the trust that the public have bestowed on it. The Bureau has a name and reputation to protect despite instances that a few of their men had been involved in some questionable behavior in the not so distant past.
It is a good thing that the City Health Office (CHO) has given the Happy Animals Club, a shelter house for stray dogs and cats, a 2-month grace period with which to address the nearby residents’ complaint of undesirable odor within the immediate vicinity.
According to the CHO, if by the end of the two months grace period the management of the animal shelter still fails to address the complained issue the closure order will become permanent. If this happens, we assume that the animals presently under the care of the shelter house will all go to the dog pound of the city and after a few days when no one signifies to adopt the animals they’d surely be put to sleep permanently.
It is our take that the action of the CHO to give a 2-month grace period is very generous enough to the management. Two months’ allowance to undertake corrective measures to address the problem is definitely enough to figure out what to do as well as to implement the measures to be done.
We commiserate with the fate of the animal lovers running the shelter house. However, we feel deeply sympathetic with the cause of the complaining neighboring residents as the quality of the air they breathe might be adversely affected by the odor coming from the animal shelter.
Their health may also be endangered because the shelter management may have some problems in disposing the animal waste.
So, it is to their (management’s) advantage if the owners of the shelter will ungrudgingly comply with the CHO’s order. Their refusal may just exacerbate their situation and further tarnish their good image as animal lovers and protectors.
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