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Opinion

Where is the outrage?

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez -

A college student from UP Los Baños was found in an empty lot, handcuffed, bruised, robbed, raped and shot in the head. After a few days, a tricycle driver is pinned down by a witness, who was supposed to take part of the crime but backed out at the last minute. He then points to another suspect, a bank security guard. The guard goes into hiding, but is turned in by his grandfather, who knows that his grandson has a tendency to be involved in crimes. Little did he know that this time, it would be of this magnitude, this heinous. Both are now in the custody of the police. My question is, where is the public outrage?

 Have we been desensitized by crimes of this kind? The Vizconde massacre, the Mayor Antonio Sanchez rape and murders which also happened in Los Baños, Laguna, the Chiong sisters in Cebu, countless other rapes and murders, that we just don’t care anymore? And when there are calls for the death penalty to be brought back, at least for crimes like this, there is tangible objection? Rights for the criminals? What good is a “life sentence” when the criminal is set free anyway after a certain number of years? Where is the justice there?! We just don’t seem to care for as long as it happens far away and it does not concern us. Is it any surprise why we put up with a dictator for 20 years before we decided to oust him, riding on a wave of indignation over the murder of a political icon? Must a victim be popular for us to show outrage?

 I cannot imagine what the parents of Given Grace Cebanico must have felt when they saw their daughter, and heard in detail what was done to her. I have three brothers with children, and I cannot imagine if this kind of thing happened to any one of their children! All for lust and petty theft. Just how much in cash and kind were taken from Given Grace, for her to end up like this? It just boils my blood!

 I remember the recent riots in the United Kingdom, sparked by the shooting of a black man by police. While most of that was mindless thuggery and thievery, indignation was still high because of the shooting. Must it be race-related for people to be enraged? Race isn’t a problem here in the Philippines, so no cigar there. I’m most certain that if it were a celebrity who was victimized, a currently popular or famous one, then I’m sure it would be taken to the streets!

 What this crime has also highlighted is our pathetic record keeping of known criminals. Lester Rivera, the security guard, already had previous records. So why was he hired, of all companies, by a security agency where he would be assigned a firearm?! The security agency should be accountable for the actions of their employees, after all, they hired them. A psychological exam may have revealed the sick mind of Rivera. The country needs to be brought up to current technology when it comes to crime fighting and recording known criminals. I’m certain we do not have a fingerprint database of every citizen in the country, much more for it to be computerized! If only Rivera was already tagged a criminal offender, then Given Grace might still be alive today.

 Still, where is the outrage for her, aside form the ones from UP Los Baños?

Nothing.

CEBU

CHIONG

GIVEN GRACE

GIVEN GRACE CEBANICO

LESTER RIVERA

LOS BA

MAYOR ANTONIO SANCHEZ

RIVERA

UNITED KINGDOM

VIZCONDE

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