Press Release
July 29, 2013


(Privilege Speech of Senator Koko Pimentel, July 29, 2013)

Mr. President, my dear colleagues:

Last July 26, 2013, shortly before midnight, a bomb exploded in a restaurant row that was full of people enjoying the festive and peaceful atmosphere as well as the good food and company that are characteristic of Cagayan de Oro City, my home city.

Eight people have lost their lives and several others have been injured.

Immediately, the city authorities responded to give assistance to the victims who lay in the wreckage. But the culprits had gotten away.

I denounce this senseless killing of innocent and productive citizens of our Republic! I denounce this violent attack on our way of life in Cagayan de Oro City, which is also known as the "City of Golden Friendship".

We want justice for all the victims!

The hooligans who perpetrated the crime must not be allowed to get away with the horrible deed that they have perpetrated on their innocent victims.

Not only that. The masterminds must likewise be identified, prosecuted and penalized - not years after the fact - but now, immediately if not sooner.

The two so-called Boston bombers who killed and maimed many marathon participants and onlookers last April 15, 2013 were identified in a matter of days.

They engaged the police in a shootout days later. One of the two, Tamarlan Tsarnaev, was shot fatally, and the other, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was wounded and arrested by the police soon after the incident.

The killer of innocent students on a holiday in the island resort of Uteya in Norway, on July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik, was tried and convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison[1], in only a couple of months after the crime was committed.

The immediate reaction of the people of Norway to the verdict sentencing Breivik was one of relief.

The prime minister, himself, lauded the fast delivery of justice, and in effect said that, "that was what the people of Norway expected".

I do not have Norwegian blood, but still, I expect our police authorities in Cagayan de Oro to do their thing with dispatch. And prove that they deserve the support, respect, and trust of the people.

Otherwise, the criminals responsible for the mayhem they had committed in Cagayan de Oro City would go down in history as one of the most dastardly offenses ever committed in the country without anyone being held responsible for it.

I would also urge the Philippine National Police to get the mastermind.

I would not want it said that the offense was solved but only the small fry was sanctioned because the mastermind got away with it.

Not only would the administration of justice suffer from such a travesty, but the mastermind would be tempted to do it all over again because, then, he would have enjoyed some kind of impunity that violators of the law are not entitled to.

The thing is, the people expect, and deserve, no less than a fast and expeditious delivery of justice here.

And that means that the Cagayan de Oro police must demonstrate that they have the guts, the determination, the will, and the skill to do their job, and, thereby, restore the superiority of law and order over criminality and disorder at least in our beloved city of Cagayan de Oro.

In closing, as we condole with the families of the victims, we would like to assure them that with the Mayor of the City, the Honorable Oscar Moreno, the members of the City Council, the Congressmen who represent the city, Klarex Uy and Rufus Rodriguez, we will all do what needs to be done to bring justice to all concerned, and above all, restore the reputation of the City as a haven for peace and security for our residents and visitors that had been compromised for so long under the last city administration.

Thank you.

[1] The criminal got a jail term as there is no death penalty in Norway.

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