HOW FAR has the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) undertaking the probe on the rape and slay case of architect Vanche Marie Bragas of Durian Village, Calinan, gone? How much lead has it established as far as the identification of the suspects or suspects and the ownership of the Ombak tricycle?

As of the writing of this column yesterday morning, we have not read or heard any statement published or broadcast from the SITG. Hence, we could not help if a number of DavaoeƱos, including the victim’s family and us, would entertain the suspicion that, so far, the SITG is still facing a blank wall in its investigation.

Personally, we believe that the identification of the tricycle owner must be given priority by the agents of the SITG. This is because if the owner is known, it will be easy for the police to know who was driving the vehicle on the night the crime was committed.

Of course, we agree that identifying the tricycle owner may not be easy if indeed it is true that the unit has no plate number and seemingly no one could definitely establish the vehicle’s color. But it is not a hopeless case for the SITG probers. All they need to do is go to the distributors of the kind of tricycle in Davao City starting with the outlet in Calinan, if it has any. They can look into the names of the newest unit purchasers and which sold units are not yet issued plate numbers.

The police can also ask for the support of Mayor Baste Duterte by convincing him to do what his father did in the case of the hit-and-run driver that smashed to death a lady motorcycle back rider at crossing Tulip and MacArthur Highway in Matina. That is, issue a stern warning to the owner and driver to voluntarily surrender or face the consequences; or by offering reward money to anyone who could lead to the identification of the vehicle owner and driver.

That is what exactly the Mayor’s father did to draw to the surface the vehicle owner and the driver in that Tulip hit-and-run incident. It turned out that the vehicle was owned by the Vice Mayor of Boston, Davao Oriental, and was driven by another (?) person when the accident happened.

If the mayor feels that he cannot do it, he can ask the help of his father to issue a warning for him. We are a hundred percent certain that by the time the warning is out or the reward is offered, it will only take hours for both the owner and driver suspect and his companion (if he has any) to surrender.

Or, the SITG agents may have to resort to a more aggressive and drastic strategy in running after the suspects, which may include the owner himself. 

We are certain that many will agree with us that the crime of rape and slaying can only be done by people who are beasts and masquerading only as humans so they can freely do their evil intention in the midst of an all-too-trusting society. What the suspect or suspects did to the victim makes them undeserving of entitlement to human rights protection. Letting them invoke their human rights, as many advocates would love to encourage them to do, is most unfair to the victims of such crime, especially the latest one – a hapless woman incapable of protecting herself from the beastly act of the criminals.

Honestly, we feel that the notable increase in rape cases in Davao City is a major affront to the former President of the Philippines, who, in his time as mayor of the city, literally made Davao almost a zero-crime city and drug-free local government.

Although today there are still some drug busts in the city involving people mainly coming from other provinces trying to sneak in their illegal merchandise, relative peace still exists. Thus, the sudden hike in rape cases that now includes the killing of the latest victim is a significant blow to the achievement of Davao City that was painstakingly worked out by the former mayor and the incumbent’s father.

For this reason, we were insinuating in our previous column that it may be time to resurrect the slumbering urban legend of the rabidly anti-crime group the Davao Death Squad (DDS). Its name alone can make criminals tremble in fear.

We bet our balls the rapists and would-be rapists will be cowering in fear. 

Source: Mindanao Times (