Prior criminal record?
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - January 9, 2017 - 12:00am

Emilyn Villanueva, the fifteen year-old girl who was struck by a bullet in the head on New Year's Eve, has passed away. After spending days in intensive care, her body just could not cope with the severity of her injury. Indeed, her fate was in God's hands. Doctors could not take out the bullet that was lodged in her head because of her critical condition. Thankfully, her family allowed for an autopsy to be done, in which the bullet has now been recovered.

Here in the Philippines, the family or next of kin's consent is needed before an autopsy can be performed. Unlike in some counties where an autopsy is mandatory to determine the exact cause of death, and to determine if a crime was committed or not.

While it is not inherent in Filipino culture to subject the deceased to autopsy, I believe this is something lawmakers should take a look at, and study if it is time for the country to adopt a policy of mandatory autopsies.

With the bullet now in the hands of authorities, it is hoped that ballistic investigation will reveal the owner of the gun from which it was fired. Providing of course, that the gun is even registered with the police. If not, then they face another blank wall. With so many loose firearms in the country, Emilyn may turn out to be another victim of an unsolved crime, a statistic in another new year's celebration turned tragic.

The family seeks justice. Whether the bullet came from a person stupidly firing his gun, or a shooter who missed his target, he must be brought to justice.

While the DOH maintains Emilyn was struck by a stray bullet, the police claim they already have a suspect, and are now looking for him. His intended target was a barangay watchman, but he missed, hitting Emilyn. Emilyn was allegedly looking down at her phone, with the shooter firing from a slightly elevated position, explaining why she was hit at the top of her head.

What is perplexing is that the suspect identified by the police already has a record for the killing of a police officer. According to the barangay watchman, he may have been targeted because of his knowledge of the suspect's supposed illegal activities.

But why weren't the authorities informed?

If he has a prior criminal record, why is he still free? Sen. Gordon would then be right to ask the PNP what it is doing with its more than three billion peso intelligence fund. How is it being utilized? How does someone with a criminal record, for murder even, able to slip undetected until another crime is committed? Are the intelligence funds being utilized by those bereft of intelligence?

If the PNP has such a huge budget for intelligence gathering, where are the results? I believe Gen. Dela Rosa would do well to explain where exactly are the funds being used.

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