25-year-old victim in Tarlac shooting had 1-year-old daughter

By: Catherine Gonzales - Inquirer.net | December 22,2020 - 11:35 AM

MANILA, Philippines — Before his tragic death, 25-year-old Frank Anthony Gregorio was looking forward to seeing his one-year-old daughter in Pangasinan this Christmas.

After all, he had been staying in Tarlac province to work there and provide for his own family.

It was a simple hope that any father like him would have, a dream that a mere bullet fired from the gun of an angered policeman had mercilessly stolen one Sunday afternoon.

His father Florentino thought about the family that Frank, the fourth of his seven children, had left behind, following his untimely death.

“May pamilya po ‘yang naiwan sa Pangasinan. Kaiisang taon lang po ng anak niya noong September,” Florentino said over ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo on Tuesday. “Matagal na niya pong gustong makauwi ngayong paskong ito para makasama niya.”

(He left behind a family in Pangasinan. His daughter had only turned a year old last September… He wanted to go home so that he can be with his daughter this Christmas.)

According to Florentino, Frank had decided to stay in Paniqui, Tarlac with his parents because he had no regular job in Pangasinan.

He recalled how his son would take on manual labor to provide for his family.

“Kasi po doon [sa Pangasinan], wala siyang magiging trabaho kundi maghihintay lang po ng kung kailan [magkakaroon]. Kasi po ang anak kong iyan sanay sa hirap, kaya kahit sa paglelabor lang po sa construction kinakaya niya, pinapasok niya,” Florentino said.

(In Pangasinan, he will have to wait for opportunities to have a job. My son is used to manual labor, that’s why he took on construction work.)

Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca, the policeman who shot Frank and his 52-year-old mother Sonya, surrendered on the same day he committed the crime and has been indicted for two counts of murder. The leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) says he will also face an administrative case for his dismissal from service.

Nevertheless, a question remains unanswered for Florentino.

“Bakit po siya [ay] nakapatay na, nadidismiss lang ang kaso niya at tsaka bakit hindi siya natanggal pa sa serbisyo?” he said, referring to two administrative cases of grave misconduct for homicide that were previously filed against the policeman.

Nuezca’s grave misconduct cases in 2019, according to PNP records, have been dismissed due to lack of substantial evidence.

This Christmas, Frank and Sonya will still be with Florentino, but only as cold bodies lying in caskets.

“Napagbigyan naman po kami ng seven days [na burol]. Akala ko nga po nine days, eh sabi ng anak ko, seven days lang ang binigay sa atin dahil masyadong matagal ang nine days,” the Gregorio patriarch said.

(We were given seven days for the wake. I thought we can hold it for nine days, but one of my children told me that we were only given seven days since nine days would be too long.)

“Nagpapasalamat na rin po ako dahil napagbigyan ako ng mahaba-haba ring makasama ko lang ang pamilya ko na kapiling namin kahit magpasko, kasama po namin,” he added.

(I am still thankful because I was given a longer time to be with my family this Christmas.) / JE

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TAGS: 1-year-old daughter, Christmas, Frank Antony Gregorio, Pangasinan, Tarlac shooting

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