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ROUGH CUTS | Was there any inquiry conducted?

Our congratulations to Ms. Carol Arguillas and her fellow dreamers who 23 years ago dreamed of telling the nation and the world the Mindanao that was, and still is, seen by Mindanaoans with their own eyes and appreciated or at certain times scorned, based on their own perspective.

Carol and her fellow dreamers founded the news organization MindaNews in 2001 with a meager budget and with only a few gutsy human resources. They labored to scour all of Mindanao even those areas where many “fear to tread” for some reasons or others.

In the last 23 years we, both in our capacity as a media practitioner and a private corporation employee, were witness to the MindaNews people’s struggle. They even risked being branded as purveyors of some other ideologies because of their reportage. Still the MindaNews staff persevered.

Twenty three years later, the Mindanao-based news organization is still around and majority, if not all of those who were among the original dreamers are still with the group. They are now more of the guiding inspiration to the younger entrants to MindaNews.

Two more years and the news organization will be 25 years of its existence and we are sure its people will continue to report about Mindanao as they see and hear about the island and its people. May Madam Carol and her tribe increase and MindaNews will continue to receive accolades not just from the country’s award giving bodies but from global agencies searching for exceptional excellence in news gathering and reporting.

By the way, if an accolade is to be given to women, the top dreamers of MindaNews deserve such a plum. Two of the dreamers are women. They are Ms. Arguillas and our editor-in-chief Amy Bandiola.


Whatever happened to the planned probe of a concrete road project leading to the depth of a forested area in Carmen, Baguio district, Davao City?

Some two or three weeks ago we read in the local papers and heard over the radio and television news that certain councilors were planning to initiate an investigation on the project. We assumed that the reason for such proposed probe is that the project was undertaken in an area where its return on investment is unlikely because the place that the concreted road is supposed to lead to is far from being a productive farming community and the number of households does not warrant such costly infrastructure.

According to the news reports the councilors would want to know who initiated the project, who determined the road location and why the local lawmaking body of Davao City was seemingly “ignored” in its conceptualization and eventual implementation.

Enough time has already lapsed and until now people are asking whether the planned inquiry has already been started or concluded.

We too do not have any idea as to the status of the planned probe. We suspect that possibly the councilors who were trying to initiate the investigation suddenly developed cold feet when they learned who the project proponents are and why they locate the road in the area.


In an official statement on the relief of Col. Richard Bad-ang as Director of the Davao City Police Office, and 34 other policemen including some station commanders, Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte called the action as “abuse of power” by higher police authorities.

The mayor added that relieving the police officials and a number of his men was a “disruptive action within our law enforcement agencies.” Mayor Baste also strongly condemned the relief as a way of “undermining the hard-earned trust between our community and law enforcers,” further saying that it is a “stark reminder of the dangers of unchecked authority.”

Frankly, we believe that Mayor Baste cannot be faulted for releasing such statement. After all, we find it unnecessary to relieve other police personnel especially those who were out to carry orders from their superiors.

We know that the low-ranked policemen on the ground do not have enough clout to influence the outcome of any investigation – the top officials have. Besides, the lower officers executing orders from their superiors can still be called to give their side or version of any issue subject to the probe even if they remain assigned in their respective posts.

If this practice continues every time an inquiry involving actuations of policemen in enforcing the law are done, time might come when those who are supposed to execute orders from their superiors will be entertaining the idea of disobeying the mandate.


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