“This thing that men call justice, this blind snake that strikes men down in the dark, mindless with fury, keep your hand back from it, pass by in silence.”
By Alex P. Vidal
WE trust that forensic science will play a major role in helping identify the killers of Allen Muller and Delfin “Del” Britanico.
Both Muller, 42, and Britanico, 36, were shot multiple times in separate places by unidentified assailants on January 19 in Iloilo City.
Muller, a former drug surrenderee and call agent, was killed in Brgy. Cuartero, Jaro at around 12 noon, while Britanico, a businessman, was shot to death in Brgy. Nabitasan, La Paz minutes later.
Initial investigations reportedly showed the empty shells from .45 caliber pistol recovered in the two crime scenes were fired from the same gun.
Which will indicate that the twin killings could be related; or, the suspects could be one and the same.
We expect the more professional National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Criminal Investigation Detective Group (CIDG) to have a breakthrough in their probes.
Forensic science has been a big miracle and constantly credited in the solution of many complicated and almost unsolved crimes in the United States these past 30 years.
The recovery of empty shells is basically a major lead in a crime that involves the use of a firearm as the murder weapon; and it can help bring the investigators closer to the killers’ identity.
Leaving behind the empty shells in the crime scene is tantamount to leaving behind the suspects’ footprints.
If Muller’s murder was a case of extra-judicial killing (EJK), Britanico’s murder could be a case a “collateral damage”.
Britanico, who was driving his motorbike, could have accidentally engaged Muller’s killers in a traffic spat while they were fleeing which resulted in a road rage.
A chase could have followed suit until they found a perfect spot to finish off Britanico, a well-educated and promising entrepreneur.
The itch to shoot more is reportedly stronger for people with criminal instinct after having committed a crime.
Clinical psychologists can best explain why the trigger-happy assailants decided to kill another human being after making sure they killed their first target, if proven that the killers of Muller and Britanico are one.
POSTSCRIPT: We call on our media colleagues, especially the senior practitioners who know personally former Iloilo assemblyman and Banat Partylist Rep. Salvador “Buddy” Britanico, Del’s father, to help the Britanico family in their moments of sorrow and tribulation in whatever means and capacity.
Rep. Britanico is one of the only few Iloilo public servants who is very dear to many media practitioners with or without the elections.
Rep. Britanico would always distribute calendars to his friends and constituents with all members of his family in the photo.
They are awesome. The Britanico family is a role model and a source of inspiration and good values.
Rep. Britanico, formerly the national president of the Philippine Trial Lawyers Association, is former Constitutional Commission (Con-Con) delegate and once served as the deputy minister of the Ministry of Education during the Marcos regime.
Rep. Britanico introduced me to the entire Britanico family led by Dr. Lita Celestial in the dining table, including the late Del, his older brothers Buddy Jr. and Atty. Franco, when me and Panay News columnist Herbert Vego visited their house in Congressional Avenue in Quezon City more than 20 years ago.
All members of the Britanico family always prayed and ate together if they were all present in the house. Now, they mourn together. We hope the family will get justice for Del’s macabre death.
God bless Del’s soul.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)