suspend the police chiefs

We, in KARAPATAN-Central Visayas, support the call of Atty. Rodrigo Icao, past president of IBP-Negros Oriental, to relieve the heads of police forces in the province of Negros Oriental and in Dumaguete City following another summary execution in that city last week.

We believe the call is just and appropriate in wake of the brazen killing of lawyer Archer Martinez inside his own office on a busy Friday (05 Aug., 2011) morning (11AM).

It is an appropriate response to the dastardly crimes committed right under the noses of police strongholds in a populated center. It is a just recourse to the failures of lawmen to quip the lengthening list of summary execution in the city.

In fact, Martinez, incumbent vice president of the IBP-Negros Oriental, is the third lawyer killed in the province in the last two years. Two other lawyers survived previous attacks.

The brazenness of this dastardly crime brings to mind the ambush on peasant leader Fermin Lorico, who was shot and killed by two motorcycle-riding men shortly after delivering a speech at a rally in Quezon Park on June 10, 2009. Three years after the crime, the police still have no lead whatsoever on probable suspects.

It echoes in other cases of summary execution in the province that are still crying out for resolution, like the killings of lawyer Ramon Barrameda, agrarian lawyer Eliezer Casipong, former city treasurer of Dumaguete Erlinda Tumongha, a doctor, and a beauty titlist, among others.

It is time to get tough on these crimes, we agree with local officials. And the first step is to whip up law enforcers into shape is by getting tough on lawmen who have flunked their job. Let the ax fall on whoever deserves it.

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