October 23, 2007

Crappy investigation

(Debris from the blast at G2.)

I THINK what's scarier than Ayala Land/Glorietta mall's security lapse and the explosion itself is that our government probers still don't have a clue on what caused the blast. It's been four days since an explosion tore apart the Glorietta 2 mall and here they are still with a hundred and one theories on what caused it. The NCRPO says it was't a bomb. Another theory says it was caused by the reaction of methane and diesel but UP experts doubt that considering there was no pungent smell of rotting eggs in the blast's aftermath, a telltale sign of methane explosion. Since Saturday, all you hear from the mouths of government officials (one trying to hog the limelight after the other) is a bunch of "could haves". It could have been this, it could have been caused by that...anovayan?!

It's either our government probers really don't have the capability, either through a lack of adequate equipment or skills, to investigate cases of this nature, that they need the help of foreign experts, or they are deliberately fudging the investigation. I hate to cast aspersions on the credibility of our police investigators but really, who trusts the police these days? I'm sure there are a few honest cops out there. I just hope they're part of the investigating team.

Granting our police force has no capability to investigate cases like these, then maybe the government should do something about it. Sure, getting overseas funds for infrastructure projects is great (unless they're tainted by corruption like the ZTE-NBN deal), but the police force needs funds as well to beef up their skills/training and their crime labs' equipment. I always feel distraught whenever I watch CSI/CSI New York because it shows how our local police crime labs pale in comparison to those abroad. The cops in the U.S., for example, have access to a lot of equipment and their staff are not only trained as police but also as chemists, doctors, etc.

(The blast was powerful enough to tear a hole through G2's ceiling.)

There have been numerous local criminal cases that indicate how collected evidence have already been tainted either through neglect on the part of police probers, or contamination due to improper handling by the staff. DNA samples even have to be sent to UP labs or to the States just for proper processing. How embarrassing this must be for the Philippine National Police or for the National Bureau of Investigation! Something must be done about this soon.


Planting evidence or planting a story? A story in the Inquirer says some men in Army Rescue uniforms were prevented from "planting evidece" in the blast area. Hmmm...why the government keeps getting on the case of the military (remember Saturday's story on a C-4 bomb causing the blast?) is something worthwhile to investigate. Pasok Trillanes!

(Photos courtesy of a concerned citizen who sent them to ABS-CBN. More blast photos here.)

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