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Still a mystery

09:02 AM January 05, 2013

There are few examples of the turtle-like pace of the local bureaucracy like the unsolved theft of P1.6 million in funds for the 2012 Sinulog celebration.

Sinulog Foundation official Ricky Ballesteros lamented the police’s failure to identify the perpetrator of a case widely believed to be an inside job.

Who but a few insders knew the vault in the Sinulog Foundation office had a fresh deposit of cash to be distributed for Sinulog dance contingents and choreographers?


The suspicion first fell, conveniently, on the sleepy, inattentive security guard on duty.

The fiscal cleared the guard Joselyndo Jabagat saying police lacked evidence to pin him down. He was not to be made the fall guy.

The missing P1.6 million was conveniently written off as a loss by the foundation. The amounts due the dancers and choreographers were eventually paid out and await a refund by City Hall. So it’s not only the police who were taking their sweet time in dealing with the consequences of a burglary.

Sinulog organizers seemed to show more concern over inviting suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to perform her “last dance” in this year’s Sinulog.

They should show the same keen interest to press a solution to a year-old robbery that took place hours after the last Sinulog grand finale wrapped up.

What happened to the lie detector tests, fingerprint dusting and rounds of questioning that took place after the crime was discovered?

The Cebu City police chief who was in charge then, Senior Supt. Melvin Buenafe, has already moved on to Camp Crame for a higher posting , with this bit of unfinished business left behind.

The Sinulog Foundation robbery was overtaken by other robbery cases like the theft of artifacts in the museum of Fort San Pedro, another facility managed by the Cebu City government.


Perhaps that’s what authorities want — to consign the case to amnesia.

The public deserves a solution, or at least a clear explanation of how this case languished from inaction.

Someone got away with it.

Allowing the robbery case to be forgotten send the message that crime does pay.

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