THE recent killings in the city simply mean there are lapses in security measures imposed, if not a failure of the criminal justice system in the country.
During the six months of the Covid-19 lockdown, the crime rate in Cebu dropped by 70 percent. This is due to the very tight health safety and security protocols.
Now, the ease of restrictions and deactivation of checkpoints have caused a sudden series of homicide and murder cases in the city, province and nationwide.
The killing of prominent public figures like lawyers, barangay official, mayor and a police officer are very shocking and alarming news. Whether the assassinations are work- or drug-related, political or personal, no one can ascertain the motives. At present, police investigators are facing a blank wall. To investigate several cases and arrest the culprits is a huge challenge and headache to authorities.
The criminal justice system is a complex and integrated process. It is a machinery society uses in the prevention and control of crimes. It may refer to the totality of the activities of law enforcers, prosecutors, judges and correction personnel and those mobilized by the community in crime prevention and control. Specifically, it involves apprehension, prosecution, trial, conviction, sentencing and rehabilitating or correcting criminal offenders.
The failure of authorities and the community to perform each role means ineffective administration of criminal justice.
If the police fail to resolve these cases people will begin to have doubts about the competence of the police to handle crime investigation.
If the court, on the other hand, fails to administer justice, the victims’ family will eventually lose trust in the country’s criminal justice system.
This is a challenge to the newly-installed Police Regional Office Director Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo of Central Visayas not to let their guard down.