Two government officials were murdered within days of each other this month.
On Thursday, Nov. 17, the Bureau of Customs’ Deputy Commissioner, Arturo Lachica, was gunned down along España, City of Manila, while he was on his way home.
A P1-million reward has been put up by the Department of Finance for anybody who can provide information on who might have committed the killing, and why. Lachica was shot by a gunman. He sustained multiple chest wounds and was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital.
And then on Monday morning, Makati City Revenue District Officer Jonas Amora was shot by two men on board a motorcycle along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City.
The closed circuit television camera of the village is said to have caught the shooting. It may not be as effective, however, in determining the motive for the killing, and who ordered it.
We accept that these are precarious times, and that this administration is earnest—desperate—in its campaign against illegal drugs and corruption.
But the public is also desperate for a sense of peace and order: To know our streets are safe, that authorities can prevent crime and will not get ahead of the justice system in their desire to prove they are doing their jobs.
Impunity is being free from the consequences of what one has done. We know this word too well—too many crimes, many of them heinous, have never been resolved. The perpetrators have never been brought to justice, and this failure has emboldened others to ponder dark deeds and actually carry them through.
What these killings tell us is that criminals, in plain clothes or those cloaked in official wear, have become too bold and confident that they can do as they please and not pay for them.
There must be outrage—even while we scramble for safer ground, hoping we will never be at the wrong place at the wrong time.