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EDITORIAL - Attack on a whistle-blower

(The Philippine Star) - December 3, 2015 - 9:00am

Less than a month after a regional trial court judge was shot dead in Malolos, Bulacan, the city engineer of San Jose del Monte in the same province was ambushed in Sta. Maria town the other day.

Rufino Gravador survived the ambush. But video footage showed the brazen daylight attack on a busy road by two men on a motorcycle. The gunmen were shown alighting from the motorcycle and pumping Gravador’s sport utility vehicle with bullets, but the engineer, though wounded, managed to drive away and reach a hospital.

Gravador is a whistle-blower in a plunder complaint filed against San Jose del Monte Mayor Ernest San Pedro and 16 other city officials. Probers are looking at the case as a possible motive for the ambush.

The engineer has been transferred to a hospital outside the province and is expected to recover. Malolos Judge Wilfredo Nieves, on the other hand, did not survive the attack last month. Neither did the suspected triggerman. The suspect was arrested but was shot dead just days later after he allegedly tried, while in handcuffs, to grab the gun of his police escort.

Nieves was the judge who sent to prison notorious carjacker Raymond Dominguez. The death of the gunman makes it unlikely that the mastermind will be caught. It also makes it likely that the mastermind may strike again. This is not the way to deal with criminality.

The gunmen who went after Gravador may be identified from the video and must be caught. Not only to make them disclose who ordered the hit, but also to prevent them from going after Gravador again and possibly accomplishing their mission. Bulacan authorities must step up efforts to prevent violence in the province. Failure to stop this violence will have a chilling effect on those who want to see justice done.

BULACAN ENGINEER GRAVADOR JUDGE MALOLOS MALOLOS JUDGE WILFREDO NIEVES MONTE MAYOR ERNEST SAN PEDRO PROVINCE RAYMOND DOMINGUEZ RUFINO GRAVADOR SAN JOSE
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