The scourge of criminality rages despite everybody’s consuming attention with the pandemic. Most victims are vulnerable and weak. The suspects more often are wolves in policemen’s clothing feeding on the blood and carcasses of their victims, thinking that their uniform gives them a badge of immunity.
With the resilient unpeace in Mindanao and the recent social and economic havoc wrought by the Marawi war, there was a diaspora of Muslims to Metro Manila and its suburbs. They hoped to redo their shattered lives. The Maranaos, by nature enterprising, rely on trade to eke out a living. Necessity made them venture in risky trade. Throwing caution to the wind, they become easy prey for criminals.
That was what happened to a Muslim woman entrepreneur who was engaged in online jewelry trading. She met a gory death in the hands of a pack of predator-vultures, mostly policemen. They thought it was a perfect crime.
But they thought wrong. How they were identified positively and immediately was nothing less than cosmic coincidence and divine intervention. The law on karma and Almighty God’s hand were at work.
According to media reports, Nadia Casar hired a transport network vehicle service in going to Nueva Ecija to meet a prospective buyer. After the transaction, they were stopped by two motorcycles and a van of armed men who abducted and robbed them of money and belongings. The driver was released, leaving behind Nadia detained for ransom. The driver reported the robbery to the Nueva Ecija police station and while there, he recognized one of the robbers from a group picture of policemen displayed on the wall. That was the breakthrough that led to the identification of the criminals. It was established later that Nadia was killed, her body burned and buried in a shallow grave in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.
The media report ignited a fire ball of condemnation of the gory crime from Muslim leaders and organizations. It was an amazing show of the oneness of Muslims giving validity to the tenet of Ummah Islamiyya, or brotherhood of all Muslims. The National Commission for Muslim Filipinos immediately dispatched their officials to look into the case and assist in the investigation and filing of the case in court. Social media and chat rooms of Muslim netizens went on overdrive with expressions of sympathy, condemnations and demands for justice.
In a strongly-worded public statement, the Federation of Muslim Royalties of Lanao, headed by Executive Judge Bai-a-labe Wenida Balt Papandayan, condoled with the family of the victim and decried the ghastly crime while calling on chief of the Philippine National Police General Guillermo Eleazar to “rid the police of scalawags and criminals (and) give justice to the dead victim.” It implored leaders “to provide the necessary assistance in the speedy disposition of the case” and called upon Muslim “professionals and lawyers to help… in the preparation of the appropriate case” and its early disposition. They likewise sounded the clarion call for a collective outcry against the “inhuman act and blatant disregard of Islamic ritual in handling the dead.”
The Philippine Muslim Women Council headed by Commissioner Bae Norhata Alonto promptly issued a public statement expressing its indignation even as it “strongly condemn the cold-blooded killing (of Nadia)…
kidnapped and gruesomely murdered, leaving the family to live with the trauma of her brutal and heartless death.”
Recently, members of the Integrated Bar of Lanao del Sur, led by its president, Dagoroan Adom Aguam Macarambon, met with the Provincial Office of the Bangsamoro Human Rights Council to discuss, inter alia, partnership in the prosecution of the criminals in the Nadia Casar murder.
PNP Chief Eleazar, feeling the heat, reacted posthaste, assuring the public of the summary dismissal from the service of the five policemen involved in the crime. The criminal complaint, which includes the civilian suspects, has been filed with the Department of Justice.
The Muslims have served notice to authorities that they will be monitoring the progress of the case and that they will not hesitate to decry any shenanigan that will obstruct the meting out of the corresponding penalties to the accused.