INSIDE PAGE | Fernan A. Gianan:

What makes Carmel Eubra’s murder different?

Eubra is the either 9th or 10th victim of riding-in-tandem killers since businessman Larry Que was shot at the back of the head at San Isidro Village while entering a car insurance office on Dec. 19, 2016.

Five of the killings are considered drug-related while three or four have links to the communist insurgency, based on police reports.

The last riding-in-tandem killing on July 23, 2021 had heavy equipment operator Sandy Tesorero  as the victim.

He was on his way home together with a fellow worker when their way was blocked by two unidentified persons riding-in-tandem at Buenavista, Viga.

Tesorero was shot nine times for a still unknown reason, although there were reports he might have incurred the ire of relatives of three other women with whom he had relations aside from his wife.

It would be a stretch for investigators to link Eubra’s death to illegal drugs and list her name among the thousands of victims of the Duterte drug war.

Just days after the killing, a rumor surfaced that she was probably killed by the New People’s Army hitmen for allegedly removing families of suspected rebels from list of 4Ps recipients.

The problem with this scenario is that the NPA would not waste its time on a mere department head, especially one who had spent time in so-called red zones as part of her job as a social worker.

And why do the hit in Virac, where the chance of getting caught by the authorities is definitely greater than mounting the ambush along the isolated stretches of the Viga-Virac highway where the killers could easily disappear in the surrounding forests?

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Riding-in-tandem murders related to illegal drugs most likely involve law enforcers.

Forget about the “onsehan sa droga” brought up as a lame excuse for the killings since the local police would easily nail them for the crime considering their network of confidential informants.

Except for then PO1 Vincent Tacorda who admitted having shot a Viga resident allegedly upon orders of a Catanduanes police director at the height of the Duterte drug war, it is possible that the rest of the murders were committed by undercover police officers who are not natives of the island.

It took some time for Camp Camacho to notch its first drug war victim, the Davao native who allegedly pulled a gun on lawmen out to serve a warrant at his Danicop house. And the majority of the raiding team were reportedly from an anti-illegal drug unit from the PNP regional office.

Island-born police officers, most of whom are Catholics, would likely refuse to participate in a state-sponsored killing especially if the victim is a fellow Catandunganon.

While the risk of getting caught could be brought to a minimum with extreme precaution, the memory of killing a fellow islander would be imprinted forever in his mind, showing up in the assassin’s dreams and reminding him of his unforgivable sin.

The emotional and psychological baggage would be lesser on the conscience of outsiders since they would not be spending the rest of their lives here.

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There were grumblings of disappointment when the ARDCI Mart opened its doors last week at the microfinance company’s business center along Moonwalk road in Calatagan Proper, Virac.

Several customers had to discard goods they had chosen for lack of price tags. This writer also brought two items to a cash register but the prices of the items were not yet reflected in the system.

Someone had to literally bring one each of the items back to the office to check the actual price.

Apparently, the management failed to complete the launch preparations in time for the opening.

But the saving grace of the new establishment is that the place is airconditioned and has wide aisles, perfect for shopping in comfort.

It also has ample parking space for cars and motorcycles just in front.

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DINNER DECORUM. A boy asks his father, “Dad, are bugs good to eat?”

“That’s disgusting. Don’t talk about things like that over dinner,” the dad replies.

After dinner the father asks, “Now, son, what did you want to ask me?”

“Oh, nothing,” the boy says. “There was a bug in your soup, but now it’s gone.”

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