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Iloilo City politicians BFF of Jing Jing Espinosa

SALAMAT MAYOR MABILOG AND CONGRESSMAN TRENAS from Jacob NO Fear Espinosa on Slide.ly.

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Politics and drugs mix dangerously in Iloilo City

Alleged drug lord Jing Jing Espinosa regularly hosts parties for his friends in Iloilo City: City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog, Congressman Jerry P. Trenas, Vice Mayor Joe III Espinosa and Liga ng mga Barangay federation president Bobby Divinagracia. What is the usual agenda? How drugs can help these politicians preserve their hold on power.

Drug lord posts haughty comment on FB

This is a screen capture of the comments posted by Jesus “Jing Jing” Espinosa Jr. under the account name “Jacob NO Fear Espinosa” on my Facebook Page this morning. The guy isn’t shy about his closeness to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog.

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.

Conspiracy theory

It’s been a week since a lone perpetrator used a lock-pick to force open my car door and stole my laptop computer and favorite defense weapon, a Glock 26 9mm pistol. I haven’t heard anything from the police, although I was told they had a suspect based on the modus operandi. And as I was sipping a cup of hazelnut brew at Coffeebreak Gaisano, I was approached by Manny Gruenberg to let me know he was also hit in similar fashion at the guarded parking lot of “The Avenue” only two days before it happened to me.

That left me wondering if the police has the capability to solve car break-ins like this, as it would appear the culprit, who obviously wasn’t working alone, has been doing this a number of times. The method used is more refined now; in previous cases, the culprits smashed the car window open to gain access. It was a crude method that increased their risk of being caught. In fact, several suspects were indeed caught, only to go free on bail. A degree of sophistication has been introduced to their modus operandi: pick-locks are now being used.

It looks like the criminals are always a step or two ahead of the police. And as I write this, I heard a TV report about how a suspect just snatched in broad daylight the digital camera of two people who were posing for souvenir photographs in Iloilo City. Worse, it was reported that the complaint filed against the suspects in the East West Bank robbery was dismissed by the City Prosecutors Office on a technicality. The criminals are indeed ahead in the game, and are getting bolder and bolder.

But this boldness doesn’t remove that nasty feeling that I was a target of a well-planned “hit”. Almost everybody — even the security guards at the West Visayas State University where it happened —- tells me I must have been followed, or the culprits knew exactly where I would be, at what time, and how long the car would be left unattended. It makes sense. March 18 was a public holiday, and there wasn’t supposed to be classes at the WVSU. Moreover, the school year had ended. I was just there to take the final exams in a graduate school subject.

As described by witnesses, it didn’t take more than 2 minutes. The culprit casually walked toward my parked vehicle and peered inside through the tinted window glass. He was verifying the object of the planned theft was there; he must have seen me leaving the vehicle without my knapsack bag in which I kept my laptop. Then he took out his tools and picked the door lock mechanism. Seconds later, he opened it and got the laptop bag. But then he saw a smaller bag; my Glock pistol was in it. A bonus.

Now that a week has passed, I am pessimistic about the items being recovered, and the culprit, and the brains behind it, caught. But I am worried that this incident will only embolden the underworld into carrying out more crimes. The police seems helpless in cracking these cases. The reasons are many why this is so: lack of training in investigatve, inadequate logistical support, poor motivation and plain indifference about their job. This is a reason murders in broad daylight can just happen. This is a reason bank robberies take place so routinely.

I can live with the theft of these items. And whoever plotted this will not succeed in silencing my voice on issues affecting the community. But the incident should be an eye-opener for everybody to the reality that nobody is safe anymore. The only way to change that is for the police to shake things up and introduce reforms in its organization and the way it does police work.