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Justice Shall Prevail


(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) Zamboanga City is still in pain today because of the twin tragedy it passed very recently—the demise of the two locals and the injuries of more than 50 persons due to that explosion, and the killing of the 49 SAF, mostly, Zamboangueños. Both happened almost spontaneously, a difference of only two days, the former on a Friday, January 23, afternoon, while the latter on a Sunday, January 25, morning.

A number of FACEBOOK users posted videos about the littered bodies of the slain SAF. The greater number of the locals disdained it and adjured those who did to respect the officers’ families by deleting such files, or not to anymore post anything relative to whatever brutal video of the killing because it is offensive to the sentiments of many and can be deemed as an open insult to the feelings of the families of the slain.

After the explosion last Friday, an immediate follow-up operation was done by our City police and it brought the apprehension of three individuals who were alleged as the perpetrators. On Monday, January 26, the inquest proceeding was already executed against the three arrested.

The response of our police officers was very quick. There were no delays, observably, but the fast reactions they did, made their resolves stand-out against the odds that could suppose defame, again, our beloved City. It’s also a matter of leadership which we see such as the quality of our City Police Director.

Col. Casimiro always moves very precise. In his how many months of office, tardiness is already a deleted vocabulary to our City’s finest. Zamboanga can’t be complete without the sacrifices of our policemen. Though sometimes, the same public officers must also accept constructive criticism, from other stakeholders, for their more effectiveness.

Presumably, the presence of PNoy did also contribute the immediate resolution of the incident. Zamboanga City’s Chief Executive is the president’s party-mate, it is just but normal, for any duo, to give more inclinations to each other because they walk together in a uniformed cause. When PNoy was here, the national resources were believed to be used as additional measures for the fast apprehensions of the perpetrators.

The whole City, at least, felt a total relief for the initial justice our police served in the name of their outstanding professionalism. Now, the prayer of all is that the offenders can indeed pay their crimes ultimately. They must, as an example for any more intending parties that may permeate similar acts in the future.

Somehow, the re-institution of the death penalty may also be good, as to teach real hard lessons to already and would be offenders. Men— whose consciences are searched with callousness need greater penalties to fright them. The opinion, that because of the laxity of our present laws somehow impliedly encouraged criminals to abuse more, makes sense when atrocities like last Friday happen again.

The MILF itself, at their end, admitted that there were 60 SAF bodies they found after the alleged “mis-encounter”. One of those who succumbed is PI John Garry A. Erana. The writer knows him personally, and his fiancée. Their story is featured to a national newspaper yesterday as one of its inside story.

John, as he is known by many, was an introvert brilliant officer. He talked every time with sense. He was originally from Pagadian City, until he was assigned here in Zamboanga and met Atty. Suzzette Tucay.

Their first acquaintance was also fateful. Tucay’s older brother was a SAF officer and a subordinate to Erana. Almost four years ago, when Erana’s unit was assigned to raid a drug den in Recodo, Tucay’s brother died and became the only fatality of the clash.

While the brother was laid in a local funeral parlor, the couple met. After the period of the family’s mourning, the two developed more friendship and fell in love to each other. At that time Tucay just had made the BAR exams.

Accordingly, they are supposed to tie knots next year. Atty. Suzzette Tucay is still now in New Zealand, on a study leave. She is scheduled to go home next week for the interment of PI John Garry A. Erana.

Why, at times, a fine person would have to be hurt? Baranggay eMedia extends its sincerest condolences to all the families of the killed SAF members.

We wish to also encourage the Zamboangueño people, both locally and globally, by borrowing the quote of Brian Houston, “Discouragement will disease your heart, empty your soul, weigh down your spirit, blur your vision. BE ENCOURAGED.” Such is timely in our moments of weariness.

“Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” (Luke 1:25, ESV)

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