Impunity


The barkers of Jed Patrick Mabilog boasted to the local media that Wilfredo Solomon, close-in bodyguard of the city mayor, has been pulled out of his duties as chief protector and reassigned as office clerk in his extravagantly furnished 7th floor office in the New Iloilo City Hall building.

These barkers made it sound as if Solomon, who shot and wounded an unarmed neighbor twice, was being exiled to Siberia. Solomon figured in another fracas last Sunday night when he pulled out his pistol in a drunken altercation but was overpowered by his own drinking buddies. He was beaten black and blue. it was an ugly episode for a city mayor who ignores criminality in Iloilo City as if it doesn’t exist.

Solomon has never been charged for his crimes. The police are reluctant to do so for obvious reasons. Mabilog said it’s up to the police. We don’t need to be geniuses to figure out that it’s a signal to them not to mess with his bodyguard. Now he is being given a comfortable job after being mauled by buddies who could have been shot themselves.

This soft reproach is symbolic of how Mabilog treats abuses in his administration. It is a perfect illustration of a culture of impunity where law breakers get the protection of persons in authority. Instead of turning Solomon in, Mabilog shielded him and ordered him to enjoy the airconditioned comfort of an overpriced A/C system in his office. Not even a reprimand.

Because of this, it is not surprising why criminality has surged in Iloilo City during the last 26 months. It’s either Mabilog is protecting criminals or is simply too callous to bother about protecting the safety of his constituents. Until now, we haven’t heard the city mayor acknowledge that we have a problem. His statements have always branded these reports as exaggerations, or figments of the imagination.

What makes us worry is that people are getting killed. Homes and businesses are being robbed, many in broad daylight. Laws are being violated, with no steps being taken to address them. In this city, impunity is the name of the game.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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