Last night, November 13, a tragic bomb blast once again took place in Manila. It claimed the lives of three persons, including a Muslim lawmaker, Wahab Akbar.
Where? at the House of Representatives (Parliamentary building) in Quezon City, Metro Manila.
Expectedly the authorities claimed they knew it would come, and they knew it would target Basilan Representative Akbar. He was a former deputy of a rebel group who turned politician. He represents for his fellow Muslim minorities.
In a rational situation, threats to life, particularly for Akbar who is an elected representative of Basilan in Mindanao, should have been given serious attention. It is the authority’ responsibility to ensure that those facing threats are afforded with adequate protection and security.
Protection is the police’ utmost duty under Section 24 of the RA 6975.
Nevertheless, they knew it would come and whose the target, but they never did anything more apart from knowing it to avert the attack and protect his life. If the Congress’ building where representative legislate laws is no longer safe, if lawmakers are no longer safe, then where and who else are?
Well, this police’ reputation of inaction and incompetence is no longer new. Hundreds of activists, their families and witnesses to extra-judicial killings have already been killed in recent times but never get any protection. This, despite the threats they have had prior to the attack made on them.
Even in those cases where the police are properly informed of the threats, for instance of a murdered activist family, they too never obtained any either (See the family’s photo above). They never took full responsibility of this family’s security condition, nor help them ensure that the witnesses to the murder of their loved one would come out to help them prosecute the case.
If provision of protection is not possible these persons, then what more for others whose plight and conditions remain unaccounted for?
This is how incompetent the policing system works there. And, It would happen over and over again until they are held to account for their failures and inabilities.