BY ALEX P.VIDAL
I will risk my reputation as journalist to declare that the incumbent mayor of Iloilo City has nothing to do whatsoever with the cold-blooded murder of blocktime radio commentator Niel “Lito” Jimena last August 22 in E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental.
I don’t wish to act as spokesman of the mayor who I haven’t met eversince I left for the United States in 2008; but, I believe, we journalists are morally obliged to tell the truth, inform and educate the public, and present the facts of issues objectively without any mental reservation, fear or favor, and purpose of evasion.
We mislead the public when we make baseless and unfounded accusations and insist they are the gospel truth despite the absence of concrete and damning evidence.
We mislead the public when we make wild and incredible charges based on hearsay, half-truths, partisanships and emotions.
We have mental dishonesty when we insist posthaste the city mayor had masterminded the killing because Jimena was one of those who regularly lambasted the city mayor in his radio blocktime programs.
After talking to my very reliable sources most recently, I have become more certain that Jimena’s murder could have something to do with his controversial liaison with police Senior Inspector Musa Amiyong, Iloilo City’s former police intelligence officer, who was actively engaged in the campaign against illegal drugs in metro Iloilo.
Either the hit was ordered by the top brass of a disgruntled drugs syndicate that wanted Jimena dead as early as 2009, or by remnants of a group of former intelligence operatives composed of scalawags with links to the syndicate who were also involved in “hulidap” (“huli” or arrest first and “holdup” or rob them afterwards).
“Hulidap” is a common racket among rogue cops anywhere in the country. This has been a lucrative “sideline” of some bad eggs in police service And most of their victims are criminal elements that agree to settle for certain cash rather than spend time in jail.
This is where criminals develop their deep hatred towards the arresting officers and their civilian underlings responsible for providing tips that lead to their arrest.
In many cases, police scalawags utilize their civilian assets to transact with the criminals. There are cases when both the criminals and the civilian assets develop “unholy alliances” that result in the civilian assets being tempted to betray their police bosses.
There are also cases when disloyal civilian assets don’t turn over the loot to their police bosses who, in turn, incur the ire of their “business partners” — their fellow police scalawags waiting for their share of the “SOP” (standard operating procedure).
If the SOP is not delivered, either the police “business partners” will clash and shoot each other in a “misencounter” or “heated argument,” or they will both agree to liquidate the erring civilian assets as punishment for betraying them.
It is not only the syndicates that are capable of initiating extreme punishment on police civilian assets. Internal wrangling over money matters among ruffians in uniform can also result in the killing of their civilian underlings.
The “Task Force Jimena” formed by Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) director, Senior Supt. Allan Guisihan last August 26, should invite Amiyong and ask his cooperation to shed light on their past operations and activities when both Amiyong and Jimena earned notoriety in the underworld community as “Batman and Robin.”