June 14th, 2010
(Editorial, The Biliran Clarion)
This was one event that literally started with a bang, and ended four years later with something softer than a whimper – the quick scratch of a judge’s pen.
Former Biliran Gov. Danilo Parilla was shot, in full sight of his wife and family, by Eugenio “Gene” Corpin as he was about to get off MV Cagayan Princess that had just docked on the pier of Cebu City after a trip from Naval on September 7, 2006. We will not use the fictive word “alleged” anymore, because the case has just been closed and therefore out of our formal justice system.
This boy is among the thousand Biliranon who gathered at the port of Naval even in the early dawn of September 10 to wait for the boat carrying the body of the slain former governor of Biliran, Atty. Parilla.
photo by jalmz, BiliranIsland.com file photo
Danny’s death stirred mass hysteria of grief among Biliranons of all social and political stripes and raised a loud cry for justice. And now this. After four years of delay and the death last March 11 of Corpin from complications associated with an apparent tuberculosis ailment, Cebu Regional Trial Court, Branch 18, Judge Gilbert Moises dropped the charges against the Parilla murder suspect – simply because he is dead. Nothing else could be simpler than that.
But blind or blindfolded as Lady Justice may be, the wide-eyed people of Naval and Biliran are largely aware that our formal justice system let them down once again this time around. The Parilla murder suspect might be dead and absolved of his crime, but Navalians and Biliranons see farther and wider than the judicial blinders of the Pilate-acting judge. They are aware that the mastermind and accomplices of the murder are still out there.
We now actually have a similar condition that fermented the murder of Parilla in 2006. The biggest challenge for us, especially Navalians, is to prevent and deter a repeat of the cycle of murder and judicial indifference in the best creative ways that we can, because we know fully well that the momentum is against us. And we can now only depend on ourselves, while being harassed by outsiders in our midst. Indeed, we have a tall order before us, but this is something that we can do and deliver.
We must realize by now that we are treated unfairly by the police establishment and the formal justice system right in our hometown. As recent events have shown, some Navalians have repeatedly failed to get fair treatment when they sought formal justice for alleged wrongs. For some of them, including the vigil-rallyists at the Capitol and one of them who was shot but survived, being a Navalian has become a handicap in our quest for justice and fairness in our town.
It has been one letdown after another for us in recent weeks. What have we done to merit the basic contempt and condemnation of formal authorities who are supposed to protect us?
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