At the risk of getting flak from Ray Bernard Penaranda’s friend, family, classmates, etc., I am saying, UNFAIR ANG LOCAL GOVERNMENT KAY ROCHEL!
When I visited Rochel’s family last Saturday, they had nothing but kind words to say about our mayor, vice-governor, and governor. Rochel’s family, being indigent, probably felt honored that these officials took notice of them. But mind you, as of Saturday, it was only Vice Governor Cesar Perez who personally visited Rochel’s wake. Rochel’s aunt was among the leaders of Mayor Ton Genuino’s campaign, but the mayor only called and promised to help. OK. Notice too that almost nothing was done–Rochel’s death did not seem to warrant any hullabaloo from among thre local government. After all, sino ba naman ‘yang sampaguita vendor na ‘yan na ni-rape at pinatay, right?
You contradict me, sasabihin mong hindi naman totoong walang ginawa? Well, if may ginawa ngang security measures, then Ray Bernard Penaflor wouldn’t have been dead right now. He would have accepted the certificate of his being a college scholar PERSONALLY today. OK, cue in being tameme.
So why am I crying UNFAIR?
First, Rochel’s rape-murder should have been a big deal, because (1) the crime happened relatively near UP Campus and (2) because barely barely four months ago, our town was in the news because of an eerily similar case, ie, Given Grace Cebanico’s rape-murder. At the outset, the local government could have released a condemnation statement, could have put up an indignation rally (FYI, hindi po naka-patent sa UPLB USC ang indignation rallies. P’wede po kayong mag-organize nun), and SHOULD have enforced stricter security. But I saw none. Or did you? Must have been a feeble attempt because I missed it.
And second, the reward money. The reward offered for the arrest of Ray Bernard’s killers was initially P100,000, but just after a day, it was raised to P300,000. The reward money offered for the arrest of Rochel’s rapist-killer was initially P50,000, and after 2-3 days, was raised to P100,000. This is so unfair. If anything, the reward money for any lead of Rochel’s rapist-killer should be bigger. Now, before any of Bernard’s friends and relatives get mad at me, let me explain why.
- Ray Bernard is backed up by a powerful, loving, angry UP and YFC community. His family, while probably not really rich, is able. Rochel, although endeared to the hearts of UPLB folks, was still not OFFICIALLY part of that community. Her family, I’m sure, is both less influential and waaaaay less financially able than Bernard’s.
- There are two willing witnesses who saw the face of Ray Bernard’s killer. A cartographic sketch was even released. In the case of Rochel, there are no leads or witnesses yet as far as I know. Since Rochel’s case is seemingly more difficult to solve, I think it is just fitting that the reward money is bigger. But Bernard’s is bigger. You know why? If you also guessed “media exposure” and “kasi UP si Bernard”, your guess is as good as mine.
Tell me what you think!
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