No thanks to an “arrogant and insensitive” investigation by a multi-agency body led by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the casualties in last year’s Glorietta 2 tragedy have been victimized twice over.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said that while the PNP failed to explain the presence of RDX substances found by the Army, it also failed to apply equal justice to those who may have been responsible for the deaths and injuries caused by the tragedy.
“If the PNP thinks Glorietta is a closed case, that is not so in the eyes of the people, especially those left behind by the 11 who died and of those who were wounded. They are still crying out for justice,” he said.
He noted the police’s failure to explain why they did not include in their report the discovery by an Army bomb expert of evidence that would have supported a bomb explosion finding.
On the other hand, he said that if the cause was indeed an accident caused by gas vapor, police could not explain why they recommended charges against the proverbial “small fry.”
“It’s a neither-here-nor-there resolution of the case,” he said of the findings.
Worse, Lacson said the supposed resolution smacked of preferential treatment in favor of the owners, which he said follows a “time-honored” pattern.
He said owners or high officials were similarly “exempted” from charges in tragedies like the Doña Paz disaster in December 1987 that killed 4,000 people; the Cherry Hills subdivision collapse in 1999; and the Ozone Disco fire in 1996.
“That is the sad yet angry thing about our justice system. The law was not equally applied. And there is a long history of unequal application of justice here in our country,” he said.
“The victims are forever waiting for justice that has never been served and owners responsible for the tragedies mentioned have remained unreachable by the so-called long arm of the law,” he added.