ArchivesAugust 2011Cordova: fair treatment for victims, families

Cordova: fair treatment for victims, families

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Vice Mayor Alan Gel Cordova on Friday assured constituents of Dumaguete that there will be fair and balanced treatment in addressing crimes and dishing out justice to victims and their families, regardless of their background and stature in the community.

Cordova, who is the presiding officer of the City Council, said he called for a public forum Friday afternoon at the Quezon Park so that various sectors of the community can raise their concerns and provide inputs in aid of legislation of a comprehensive action plan in the fight against criminality.

The vice mayor, a graduate of the West Point Academy, the United States’ premiere military academy, and who served in the Armed Forces of the Philippines prior to entering local politics, admitted that he has been faced with so many inquiries from the community regarding the city government’s seeming inaction in addressing what many perceive to be a growing peace and order problem in Dumaguete.

Various calls to action have been raised from different sectors, including the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Negros Oriental chapter and the Roman Catholic Church here, for authorities to immediately act on the August 5 daytime murder of lawyer Archer Martinez at his office in downtown Dumaguete.

Following the attack on Martinez, the IBP local chapter announced it was raising funds as reward money for anybody who can provide information on the identity of the gunman, his arrest and prosecution.

The Peace and Order Council, which Dumaguete Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria convened after Martinez was shot dead, also sought an allocation of P300,000 for Task Force Archer, to include reward money as well as other necessary expenditures.

But, according to Cordova, the public had raised concern over the seemingly “selective” action taken by the city, as questions were also asked on whether every single time a murder takes place in Dumaguete, the city government would also be quick enough to offer a bounty for the arrest and prosecution of suspects.

Cordova also disclosed that in a special session last Monday, the city council approved a resolution for the release of P150,000 for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) for the local police and another P150,000 for the procurement of equipment intended for the maintenance of peace and order.

He said the august body has not allocated a specific amount, such as the P300,000 requested by the Peace and Order Council, intended solely for Task Force Archer, a composite team of law enforcement authorities created to focus on the solution of the Martinez murder.

Vice Mayor Cordova also stressed that it is not just the PNP that has sole mandate and responsibility in keeping the peace. The same would apply just as well to the local chief executive, local officials, the Church, barangay officials and the community at large. (PNA) JFP

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