Family of slain cop Bontuyan: A year of loss and slow-paced justice
CEBU CITY, Philippines — It has been 365 days since Police Captain Delfin Bontuyan, was shot dead by unidentified assailants while traversing Pope John Paul II Avenue corner A. Soriano Street in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City on the afternoon of May 21, 2019.
But that day, May 21, 2020, was not just a death anniversary, as this day was also the 365th day for the family and friends of the slain policeman to relive that vivid horrible moment, to realize that the wounds from the incident still had not healed. On May 21, 2020, the family and friends of Police Captain Bontuyan continue to seek that elusive truth and justice no matter how slow paced it is. For the wife, Myra Bontuyan and the daughter, Christine Claire Bontuyan, it was the day that a wife lost a husband and a daughter her father.
The 25-year-old Christine Claire Bontuyan, after 365 days since she lost her father still tears up when asked about the progress of the case. What the tears were for were maybe for the loss or the little to no progress of the case, which as of today authorities still had no lead as to who the assailants were. But Christine is still hoping the odds will turn in their favor soon.
“There’s nothing else to do. If I lose hope right now, if my family loses hope right now, who else is gonna hope for the outcome that justice will be served to papa?” said Christine.
For the death anniversary of Police Captain Bontuyan, Christine said they have made a replica of the area in Angelicum in Mandaue City, in their home where families and friends could visit and offer payers and flowers.
She said it was the only thing they could do since they could not yet visit the grave of his father following the protocols of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ.)
“But ECQ mi and impossible gani para ma accomplish na so since one year man niya ron and to cure that longing for him, ang gibuhat sa akong mama, ga buhat siya og replica sa grave sa akong papa outside sa among house,” said Christine.
(But since there is an ECQ and it is impossible to accomplish and it is his one year anniversary, to cure the longing for him, my mother created a replica of my father’s grave outside our house.)
Had it not been for the ECQ, Christine and her mother, Myra Bontuyan, would probably be spending their day in Police Captain Bontuyan’s grave.
But the usual routine of visiting the grave evreyday even without ocassions, was disrupted due to the ECQ and so the replica of the grave would suffice as for the moment.
Earlier in the afternoon, Christine and her mother and other relatives also visited the road where Police Captain Bontuyan was shot and offered some flowers.
Slow-paced justice and hope
After a year of Police Captain Bontuyan’s death, Christine revealed that the time has not healed the wounds brought by her father’s death.
Christine said that the fact that she has lost a father and that the case still had a slow progress had prolonged the pain that was brought by the death.
“Wala gyud koy update as to naa bay lead sa case ni papa. Kana disheartening gani siya… If ang case ni papa when he is a law enforcer who was gunned down in broad daylight near a police station, if kana nga case kaya na ma drag on for a long time, without any updates on the investigation or clear progress kung kinsa ang nagpa luyo ato, how much more for ordinary citizens?” said Christine.
(We still don’t have any update on papa’s case. That part is disheartening… If my father, who is a law enforcer and gunned down in broad daylight near a police station, if that case can drag on for a long time without updates on the investigation or clear progress about those who might be behind the incident, how much more for the ordinary citizens?)
However, Christine is not even close to giving up on hoping that soon or someday, her papa would get the justice he deserved and those who were behind the killings would be held accountable.
Christine said she refused to believe that her father would become part of mere death statistics.
She recalled a saying her father would always tell her about how the world being round and circumstances would often be in our favor and other times not.
This belief maybe one of the things that Christine has been holding on to, for her not to give up no matter how slow or how tiring the process may get.
“If we give up, that’s the end and I don’t want that because When papa was still alive he fought hard against injustices and now nga siya na ang nag need og justice dili siya mahatagan,” said Christine.
CCPO is not giving up
Meanwhile, Police Colonel Josefino Ligan, chief of Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), assured that they were not giving up in tracing the assailants who shot dead Police Captain Bontuyan 14 times before fleeing.
Ligan said that they were currently reviewing the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage in the establishments near the area of incident to see if they could find other leads that would point out the identity of the killers.
“We continue to investigate the case we will also not give up,” said Ligan.
Ligan said that the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG), who have been assigned to solve the case, would not give up until they find the persons responsible for the killing of their fellow cop./dbs
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