March 4, 2011
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." --Frederick Douglass
Rabby immediately filed a police complaint. The DPS and FBI were given the number that the call was made from. The terrorist called back when Rabby was being interviewed by police and the number was recorded on Rabby's cell phone. I Googled the telephone number and came up with a CNMI DOL vacancy notice that listed the name of the owner of the phone line, so her identity was made known to police and the FBI.
Rabby's family has lived under a dark cloud of fear since the call has been made, not knowing if this person would act on his threats, if he had accomplices, if he owned weapons, if he was watching the family, and when and if he would strike. Vicky has been afraid to go to work and the children have been afraid to go to school. It has caused major grief and loss of income and security. There was no birthday celebration for Rabby on Monday, as this threat drained the family's happiness like Dementors swooping down in a Harry Potter film.
It is bad enough to be a victim of a threat, but to have community members accuse the victim of making up the story, filing a false police report or fabricating the threat to bring attention to his "cause" made the situation even more difficult for Rabby and his family. Published comments made in response to a Marianas Variety story written about the threat reflect the seriously divisive and mean-spirited attitude of some ignorant community members. (See the post, Dangerous Lies and Threats.)
The male caller who made the threat identified himself as a Mr. "Norita"to Rabby, which turns out was not his real name. Yesterday a DPS officer called Rabby and reported that they determined who made the threat, and asked Rabby if he would like to consider dropping the complaint. The nephew (Let's call him JT) of the woman whose phone was used to place the threat (Let's call her JC) apparently was convinced by his "friend"(Let's call him EM) to threaten Rabby because of his advocacy on behalf of the nonresident workers. The terrorist's aunt, JC, called Rabby twice yesterday to ask him not to have her nephew arrested. The nephew, JT, also called Rabby to ask him not to pursue the complaint.
Many questions come to mind. Is it the role of the DPS to make arrests when they solve cases, or to plead for mercy for the criminals from the victims? Shouldn't they arrest the criminals, and then let the courts decide the criminals' fate? Isn't their primary role to protect victims and the public, rather than to protect criminals who may be their friends or relatives? Doesn't the act of asking the victim to reconsider pursuing the complaint put even more unnecessary pressure on the victim and his family? What if the DPS official told the attacker and his relatives that the officer will plead for mercy, and if Rabby does decides to pursue criminal charges then the criminal or his family seeks revenge? What if Rabby drops the complaint and the guy carries out the threats? Why is DPS putting the victim in this position?
I believe in forgiveness, but I also believe in consequences. I believe laws should be upheld and followed. What if this criminal is not arrested, and instead he is allowed to go free without suffering any consequences, and then he feels empowered to carry out future threats or break other laws? Such a person may pose a danger not just to Rabby and his family, but to the entire community. Why shouldn't the terrorist caller be arrested? He committed a serious crime. He frightened innocent people including children. He stole the security, peace and happiness from an innocent family.
Additionally, if an arrest is not made it will give credence to Saipan's ardent truth benders and fact twisters who publicly attacked Rabby by calling him a liar and claiming that he made up the story.
This is not an easy call. Would a public apology and promise to stay away from the family settle the matter? I am unsure...