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FIRING LINE: Ex-cops tied to murder, again

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

What an awful waste of life — the tragic deaths of beauty pageant contestant Geneva Lopez and her Israeli fiancé, Yitshak Cohen.

Police revealed that murder charges are already being prepared against former police officers Michael Guiang and Rommel Aposo, who were arrested last weekend for firearms and explosives possession.

Major General Leo Francisco revealed that Guiang had staked his property as collateral for a loan from Lopez. Rather than surrendering the property, Guiang allegedly conspired to kill Cohen and Lopez, luring them to Tarlac City under the pretense of a property sale. There, the couple was gunned down inside their vehicle, which was later torched. Their bodies, found at a quarry site in Capas, Tarlac, bore two bullet wounds each.

It is beyond shameful that those once sworn to uphold the law are behind such despicable and evil crimes. Instances like this portray our Philippine National Police as a breeding ground for the worst kinds of criminals.

That is why the resolve of officials like PNP Chief Rommel Marbil and Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos to bring down the full force of justice on these ex-cops and their accomplices — two of whom are still at large — is a must. This is a clear signal that such betrayal of public trust will not be tolerated.

Firing Line highlights how this case underscores why AWOL policemen must never be let off the hook easily. These rogues who just walked away from the PNP have proven to be a severe threat to public safety and national security.

The involvement of Guiang and Aposo in this heinous crime highlights the urgent need for stricter measures: immediate confiscation of their firearms, badges, and uniforms, thorough audits of their accessed documents, and continuous monitoring of their activities.

The leadership must ensure such atrocities never happen again. The bloodshed of Lopez and Cohen must be a catalyst for reform, tightening the reins on those who dishonor the badge the rest of the country’s law enforcers should wear so proudly.

Was it not just a few months ago when a police major was implicated in the disappearance of Miss Grand Philippines contestant from Batangas, Catherine Camilon?

Of course, the case against that active policeman was dismissed last May due to lack of evidence. However, it is eerily familiar. The dismissal of charges in Camilon’s case should not set a precedent for leniency when cops get entangled with beauty queens who either end up missing or dead.

Perhaps, to prevent this trend, the PNP should order cops to stay away from beauty pageants and contestants!

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View via X app (formerly Twitter). Read current and past issues of this column at

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