‘What are we in power for?’ | Inquirer News

‘What are we in power for?’

/ 06:30 AM January 04, 2018

Edward A. Auguis, an overseas Filipino worker, was riding his motorcycle on the national highway in Baclayon town, Bohol province, when he figured in a head-on collision with a sport utility vehicle (SUV).

Behind the wheel of the SUV which had hogged Auguis’ lane was a 16-year-old boy who did not have a driver’s license.


Clearly, the law should have been on Auguis’ side as the teenager did not have a license and apparently had no knowledge of traffic laws.

But alas and alack! Auguis was charged in court while his case against the boy was dismissed.


It turned out that the boy was the son of Tagbilaran City Prosecutor Romeo Chatto.

The prosecutor who filed the criminal case against Auguis was Bohol Provincial Prosecutor Raul Cristoria.

It seemed to be a case of accommodation between two prosecutors.

Auguis, a seaman, filed a motion for reconsideration over the criminal case filed against him but it was dismissed by Cristoria.

Auguis’ motorcycle was a total wreck.

As for him, he crashed into the SUV’s windshield head first. He regained consciousness in the hospital.

The teenager and his companion, on the other hand, suffered minor injuries from the shattered windshield.


Auguis showed “Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo” a copy of the police sketch of the accident.

From what this columnist could deduce from the sketch, the boy’s car was hogging Auguis’ lane on the highway.

And yet when Auguis went to the Baclayon police station from the hospital to file a complaint, the teenager’s father was there and even had the nerve to berate him.

The elder Chatto probably subscribes to the saying, “Might is right.”

He is in the same category as the late Senate President Jose Avelino who was behind that infamous statement, “What are we in power for?”

* * *

Initial findings of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) on the NCCC Mall fire in Davao City showed deficiencies in the alarm and safety system of Survey Systems International (SSI), the American company that owned and operated the business process outsourcing (BPO) on the fourth floor.

These included the failure of its own fire alarm system and sprinklers which were not connected to the mall’s.

The fire claimed the lives of 38 people, mostly SSI employees.

The American firm, as well as the BFP, should be held liable for the multiple deaths that made President Digong weep.

Isn’t it the job of the BFP to inspect buildings for fire safety?

Yes, the BFP officials who issued the safety certifications have been axed, but is that all? They should go to prison for criminal negligence to send a message to other BFP officials.

* * *

For the first time in the country’s history — at least in Metro Manila — only a few people welcomed the New Year with firecrackers.

As a result, the hospitals were not filled with firecracker victims.

Filipinos are capable of discipline if they know the authorities are serious in enforcing it.

But the authorities should show no mercy to cops, soldiers and civilians who were caught firing guns to meet the New Year.

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TAGS: Bohol road accident, Edward A. Augis, firecracker injuries, NCCC mall fire, On Target, Ramon Tulfo, Raul Cristoria, Romeo Chatto
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