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ROUGH CUTS | What an overkill indeed!

A few columns back we took up asa subject in our column the emergence of a new mode of fighting a political battle in the country. It is the issuance of “Official Statements” coming fromboth adversaries in politics.

The Official Statements are supposed to manifest the official position of rithrt of the opposing camps on issues that are considered the bone of contention in the battle being fought.
Again this mode of fighting surfaced again yesterday a day after a multitude of law enforcers trooped to at least four properties of the religious sect Kingdom of Jesus Christ in Davao City and in Kitbog, Sarangani Province.

Yes, the hundreds of policemen composed of different units, a number of whom allegedly were from as far as Cagayan de Oro City, came to the properties of the sect led by Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy. One of these is the main KOJC cathedral compound in Buhangin District that is also the site of a KOJC-run Jose Maria College.

The composite team of law enforcers were out to serve warrants issued against the now fugitive Church leader. The arrest orders came out after cases of qualified human trafficking and other infractions against the law were filed in a Davao City and Metro Manila courts were taken cognizance.
One of the Official Statements was issued by the Quiboloy-led church itself while the other was released by former President of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterrte, unarguably a close friend of the church leader.

Both the Official Statements lambasted the manner with which the supposed serving of the warrants despite the law enforcers’ uncertainty of finding the religious leader in any of the Church properties.
According to the Official Statement of the KOJC it strongly condemns the raid cum serving of arrest warrants because not only that it was laden with “irregularities’” but was also “excessive and an overkill.”

We strongly agree with the assertion of the KOJC that the serving of the warrants of arrest was “excessive” and an “overkill.” Imagine, serving the warrants in one of four compounds that has the main Church and a well-respected educational institution in it! And yes, why did the authorities send a battalion of lawmen coming from different units in full battle gear as if they were on their way to confront the Chinese army in the disputed West Philippine Sea? Did they not think that their only objective was to arrest the main accused Pastor and five others!

And even if the police authorities already have the inkling that there were loyal KOJC members who will confront them when they come to the suspected hiding places of the wanted Pastor, did they think further that the Church members were out to do battle with the law enforcers who were armed to the teeth?

Did the lawmen believe that Quiboloy still have his arsenal of firearms to be supplied his subjects so they can fight to the death just to stop their leader’s arrest?

We thought that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has already recovered all of the religious leader’s guns after these were surrendered due to the revocation of Quiboloy’s licenses.

Meanwhile, in the case of the Official Statement of former President Duterte, we cannot but agree with his claim that there are clear manifestations that the “overkill” in the conduct of the serving of Quiboloy’s warrants of arrest is getting to be the “trademark of this administration when dealing with individuals who are still merely accused of committing a crime and not yet proven guilty beyond reasonable ground.”
The former President’s Official Statement also expressed apprehension that the administration will exhibit the same “lack of self-restraint” it has shown towards its critics.

Yes, the apparent bravado of the law enforcers with their display of massive number in serving the warrants against the religious leader is not only brusque and intriguing but also one clear indication of the authorities’ lack of trust to their kind who happened to have their workplace in the city where the incumbent President’s political adversary and the subject of the warrants are based.

So what unity among Filipinos as per the incumbent President’s campaign commitment, can be achieved if the administration is very much wanting in trust and confidence to the very people who are working with it in places where some of its worst critic reside?

Unity? Tell it to the Marines ion the disputed territory – if there are any.


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