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TURNING POINT: Impunity on the Spread

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NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 23 Dec) – It was still broad daylight, a number of people apparently from the neighborhood who knew him, were milling around watching the commotion. He was aware that some of those present were taking a video recording of the late afternoon neighborhood incident. Even his young daughter was also video-recording and eventually joined the fracas. Yet, notwithstanding the circumstances, PNP Master Sgt. Jonel Nuesca, without any qualm, fired his service firearm at the mother and son duo, Sonya and Anthony Gregorio, killing instantly the two defenseless civilians he has sworn to protect as a law enforcer. He left the scene casually with his little girl thereafter.

The reminder or warning of the young Nuesca to the Gregorios that her father is a policeman, which Sonya dismissed she couldn’t care, should have served well as a reminder or warning, too, to the older Nuesca that he was an officer of the law and ought to behave as such. But the opposite happened: his arrogance and his twisted entitlement to power and authority drove him to act as a brazen terminator in front of their neighbors and woefully in the very presence of his young daughter who obviously idolizes him.

The law enforcer is now a murderer. Pity how the young lass would reconcile the conflict and navigate through life with the trauma in her conscience.

How a guy with such a depraved mind managed to join the rank of the PNP and even became a master sergeant is mind-boggling. Of course, the DILG-PNP Command dismissed the sordid incident as an isolated case, as isolated as the shooting of an AFP veteran in a quarantine checkpoint not long ago.

It’s not remote that Nuesca’s depravity could have been influenced by the culture of impunity now pervading in our blighted land.

Killing has been promoted by the current regime from the very start. The highest authority of the land had encouraged, not just state security forces but also ordinary citizens, promising rewards and protection, to kill drug addicts, drug dealers and petty criminals to wipe out the drug menace and criminality in the country. The immediate response was a mounting cases of extrajudicial and vigilante killing across the archipelago that resonated worldwide.

Mind you, it would be difficult for a trigger-happy law enforcer like Nuesca sooner or later to delineate killing in connection with his corrupted official duty from killing for personal satisfaction. Killing eventually becomes unconscionable and habitual.

The lawless killing continues. The latest order includes terrorists or communists. Recently a drug-listed mayor of Los Banos, Laguna, was felled by an assassin’s bullets. A red-tagged lady COVID-19 physician and her husband, also a physician, succumbed to vigilante killing in Negros. The murder of judges and lawyers in growing menacing number adds to the country’s statistic of unsolved crimes. Cops, as well, are being killed by gunmen riding in tandem. Violence haunts the land.

Impunity is spreading worst as the pandemic. A SARS-CoV-2 vaccine may soon, however, end the pandemic. On the other hand, we anticipate nothing in the offing to stop the culture of impunity.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)

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