“It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.” –Thomas Paine
As we have long been in the “age of reason,” it is sad authorities have not condemned (or been adamant to condemn) the cold-blooded murder of Barangay Bakhaw Captain Remia Prevendido-Gregori of Iloilo City’s Mandurriao district. Even Iloilo City Liga ng mga Barangay head, City Councilor Reyland Hervias, did not immediately release a statement expressing alarm and condemning the incident. We also have not heard from Iloilo City lone district Rep. Jerry P. Treñas or Iloilo City Mayor Jose ‘Joe III’ Espinosa II – weren’t they once patrons of the slain barangay official? Even police investigators sound like a broken musical instrument.
Barangay Bakhaw residents and the entire Western Visayas are familiar with Gregori’s case and, as of this writing, have been waiting with bated breath for response from the Philippine National Police, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Iloilo City Hall. So far, all we have heard are ugly stories about her background and the alleged involvement with deplorable “activities.”
Following her murder, which also left her personal assistant Analee Anipatia deceased and her husband, Bonifacio Gregori, Sr. wounded, after unidentified gunmen peppered the three with bullets last weekend while staying at the Crystal Cove Beach Resort, located in San Joaquin, Iloilo, police blamed the barangay official for being “uncooperative” when she was under investigation for allegedly engaging in the trafficking of illegal drugs. Instead of providing the public with the details of this investigation, the only thing people hear are slanderous and unsavory statements, adding insult and injury to her death.
Even if Gregori was as “evil” as her critics try to portray her (despite constituents giving her mandate contradictory to those claims), nobody has the right to kill her. The Philippine is a country of laws to deal with such supposed transgressions; this is not a country of brute force. The country adheres to the principles of due process and the presumption of innocence, not lex taliones, or “the law of the jungle.”
The fact that she was an elected official and a woman makes her violent killing even more repugnant and reprehensible.
Murder is murder and it must be condemned by all regardless of the victim’s character or personality. They deserve justice by all means and authorities are obliged to find a solution.
Justice must be given to Gregori, Anipatia, and Gregori Sr. We don’t agree with the manner in which she and her assistant were terminated./WDJ