EDITORIAL — A drop in the bucket

The Freeman
EDITORIAL � A drop in the bucket

A Caloocan City court has found four policemen guilty of homicide for the questionable killing of a father and son during a drug operation in 2016.

According to an online report by Rappler, Caloocan City Regional Trial Court Branch 121 Presiding Judge Ma. Rowena Violago Alejandria convicted Police Master Sergeant Virgilio Cervantes and Police Corporals Arnel de Guzman, Johnston Alacre, and Artemio Saguros for the killing of Luis and Gabriel Bonifacio.

The four are getting six years, eight months, and 21 days to eight years in prison as a minimum, and one day to 10 years as a maximum. Each was also ordered to pay ?100,000 for moral, actual, and temperate damage, and civil indemnity.

The same report says this is only the fourth successful conviction of a killing related to the bloody war against drugs carried out by the previous administration. The means that the families and loved ones of around 30,000 other victims of questionable killings during the drug war are still waiting for justice.

It’s hard to forget or just dismiss the “war against drugs” conducted by the previous administration, which some called a “war against the poor”. There was no shortage of reports of people dying as a result of a drug operation. At its height there were almost daily reports of someone getting killed. “Nanlaban” (resisting arrest) was always used as an excuse.

Suspicion would rise that there was no resistance offered whenever the victim was determined to not have a criminal record or unlikely to be involved in drugs or to carry a gun at all. Also if there was damning evidence like CCTV footage or witness accounts to the contrary.

And it was almost always the small fish who were killed, usually never the bigger drug dealers or the drug lords themselves.

While we can say this latest development is justice, this is but a drop in the bucket as more needs to be done to bring to the bar those responsible for the needless killings that happened during that time.

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