ROUGH CUTS| One big loss for Davao City

IF REPORTS are true that Police Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa is moving out Davao City Police Director Michael John Dubria for Camp Crame then it would be sorry news for city residents.

Dubria, as far as we are concerned, is doing very well in his watch as city police director. While some crimes were committed in the city during the start of his incumbency until now, the volume can be considered insignificant if ranged against the total population of the area as well as its expanse.

Moreover, we have noted a very cordial and effective operational coordination between the city police office and the Task Force Davao, a military unit which is assisting in maintaining the safety and security of the city especially in its outskirts.

We have also observed that under City Director Dubria crimes have been solved faster with the arrest of perpetrators and the subsequent filing of cases against them. And he has been at the helm of the city police office for less than a year.

But we have to agree that good performance gets noticed by the higher-ups. And this, we think, is the reason why Director General De la Rosa is eyeing Dubria to assist him at the PNP national headquarters. In other words, Dubria’s transfer to head office is the reward for his excellent performance as the top cop in Davao City.

Definitely he deserves it and we hope that if he will eventually be moved out of the city and transferred to Camp Crame, he will be able to meet the expectations of the PNP Director General as well as the Filipino people. And without doubt, Davaoenos, while feeling his loss in the city, will be even prouder when he can share his good work as a police officer on a national scale.

Good luck Director Dubria. While we have not met personally we have been closely monitoring your performance as the city police chief. In fact when City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio withdrew her plan to replace you after that bloody Roxas bombing, we were the first to manifest our feeling that the lady mayor’s move was a wise decision.

We hope to hear the same good performance when you will be with the office of the PNP Director General.

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Where years back many Filipinos thought that Mindanao is one lucky – or even God-chosen — island in the Philippines because it was seldom hit by major disasters like floods, earthquake and typhoons, in recent years that seeming envy might already be gone.

In recent years though the misfortunes usually suffered by people in Luzon and the Visayas appeared to no longer spare Mindanao. In August of 1976 a major earthquake coupled with a huge tidal wave hit the Moro gulf. An estimated 8,000 people were reported dead or missing mainly in the Cotabato and Zamboanga Provinces because of the tsunami that came a few minutes after the strong temblor.

Only last month the Province of Surigao del Norte was shaken by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake resulting in the loss of lives to eight persons, injuries to an estimated two hundred or so others, and damage to infrastructures both public and private, as well as crops pegged at close to half a billion pesos.

In 2011 shortly before Christmas, massive flash floods steamrollered the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Occidental, the two Lanaos and the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. Reported dead and missing were some five thousand people. Government infrastructures, private houses and buildings were destroyed in almost a night of deluge. The same water inundation happened in Cagayan de Oro City only last January although with lesser degree of destruction as in the 2011 incident. But just the same the disruption in that city’s economic activities brought a huge loss in the finances of both the local and national government.

In 2012, also in the month of December the totally unexpected super storm Pablo hit the eastern side of Mindanao leveling such provinces as Davao Oriental, Surigao del Sur and Norte, part of Agusan del Sur, and Compostela Valley Province. Again the destruction was beyond imagination; more so because a typhoon of such category was unheard of in the annals of Mindanao’s history of natural calamities.

And the month of February and the first few days of this month saw provinces in almost all the regions in Mindanao hit with massive floods with waters hitting roof-top deep in some places. Even before the flood waters subsided strong, continuous rains came again making thousands upon thousands of hectares of Mindanao’ major plains including crop lands and the urban centers like the cinematic water world.

Could this phenomenon be God’s wrath on the people of Mindanao? Could this be nature’s retribution for the government’s reckless granting of permits to some greedy businessmen engaged in massive logging and mining operations starting in the early 50s up to the time that hardly a single timber is left standing in the once dense forest now even balder than the hairless heads of some of the businessmen concerned?

Or, could this also be God’s venting his ire on the people whose apathy allowed corrupt government officials conniving with scheming large corporations to allocate every inch of denuded plains and mountains for huge agricultural plantations and residential housing subdivisions leaving hardly any space for rain water to sip in to the vowels of the earth?

From where we are perched, we view this recent years’ Mindanao vulnerability to natural calamities as exactly the way we want the answers to our questions should be.

Yes, we Mindanaoans are now paying for the greed of our former and present leaders, as well as our own apathy and negligence in doing what every Mindanaoan should have done to protect the island’s natural resources. Have we done our supposed responsibility and help preserved or properly managed the island’s God-given resources any nature-induced calamity would have been prevented, or at least its impact mitigated. But no, we did not. Instead we were like the proverbial “fence sitters” watching sailboats pass by.

In other words, not one Mindanaoan is blameless for what is happening in the island now.

Posted in Opinion