The brutal crackdown on drugs and crime is supposed to make the streets safer. From recent developments, it looks like this isn’t happening. In a span of just four days, a public relations consultant and his brother were murdered in San Juan while a Pasay City councilor was shot dead outside a busy shopping mall in Las Piñas. In Butuan, a judge was slain and his wife wounded in another ambush.
Drugs and a previous murder are reportedly being eyed in the killing of Councilor Borbie Rivera as he waited for his car in Las Piñas the other night. His killers, who were on a motorcycle, were unmoved and probably even considered it a blessing for their mission that he was in a wheelchair as they opened fire.
In Butuan, Regional Trial Court Judge Godofredo Abul Jr. and his wife Bernadita were in their car and pulling out of the driveway when a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire. Last February, a retired Caraga judge, Victor Canoy of Surigao, was also shot dead while he was buying food in an eatery. Days later, Surigao City prosecutor Manuel Tesiorna survived a gun attack as he was washing his car at home.
As of yesterday, no arrests had been made. Police are also still trying to establish the motive for the murder of Michael Marasigan and his brother Christopher last Thursday night. Michael, a formerBusinessWorld journalist, worked as a PR consultant for, among others, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Davao del Norte Rep. and Tadeco owner Antonio Floirendo Jr.
Keeping the public safe entails not only neutralizing criminals but also preventing crime. The weakness of crime prevention is evident in the ease by which armed attacks are carried out, mostly by killers on a motorcycle. The frequency of the killings can only be aggravated by the failure of the Philippine National Police to catch the murderers. Unless crimes are solved and the perpetrators put behind bars, people will not feel safe, whether in the streets or in their own homes.