Student files criminal raps vs classmate’s dad in bully issue; accused to lodge countersuitBy Niña Calleja, Kristine Felisse Mangunay
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The 18-year-old student of an exclusive school in Makati City in the center of a bullying controversy Tuesday filed criminal charges against the gun-toting father of one of his classmates.
Jesus Manuel Garcia, a senior high school student of Colegio de San Agustin in Dasmariñas Village, charged Allan Canete Bantiles with attempted murder, slander and slander by deed in the Makati Prosecutor’s Office.
Bantiles has been the subject of the condemnation of people online after a Facebook page on the alleged gun-toting incident was put up on the Internet.
Accompanied by his parents and his grandmother, Garcia filed the complaints together with his narration of the Aug. 30 incident when Bantiles allegedly slapped him, shook his shoulders and pointed a loaded gun at his forehead.
He said Bantiles also threatened to shoot him. The incident happened an hour after Garcia reportedly hit Bantiles’ son Joshua in the face as a reaction to his and his other classmates’ bullying.
“One hour had passed after (Garcia) hit the boy. When he (Bantiles) brought his gun with him to the school, there was an intention to hurt somebody,” Garcia’s counsel Allan Tan told the Inquirer.
Garcia included slander and slander by deed in the charges, claiming Bantiles had also called him crazy and slapped him, the lawyer said.
Bantiles and his son said the allegations were “lies.”
“Jaime Garcia is a classmate and I considered him a friend. I am saddened that he has to make false accusations against me. I never bullied him,” said Joshua in a statement read at the office of their lawyer, Richard Nethercott.
He said Garcia was the one who became violent and who had punched him without provocation.
“I am only 16 years old, while he is, I believe, 18 years old. I hope as an older individual, he’ll be mature enough to realize that by coming out with false accusations he is damaging my name and reputation, which might have an adverse effect on my future,” Joshua said.
Nethercott said Allan Bantiles would give a full account of what happened only in court.
“We are denying these claims that he (the elder Bantiles) slapped the boy and pointed a gun at him,” Nethercott said.
The lawyer said the family was also planning to file a countersuit against Garcia and his family.
“We might file a case of libel or defamation or physical injury. But we are being very prudent about it. We want cooler heads to prevail since our client is a minor,” he said.
Breaking his silence for the first time, the 16-year-old Joshua painted a different picture of his 18-year-old accuser.
Joshua said Jaime Garcia became “violent” during their English class and punched him without any provocation.
The 16-year-old said that the attack came after he told Garcia to calm down after he allegedly stabbed another classmate with a ball pen three times in the back.
When he wasn’t looking, Joshua said he received a blow on his jaw.
“He punched me hard for he was stronger than me and taller than me. He is, I believe, 6’4,” said Joshua, who is 5’7” tall.
After the incident, Joshua said he went out to “cool off.”
He was suspended for three days after the incident.
Nethercott told the Inquirer that Bantiles himself had asked that he be given time to air his side because “he was already suffering.”
“He has been under attack in social media, the Internet … The complexion (of the incident) became different in the media,” the lawyer said.
Nethercott said Bantiles was thinking of filing slander, physical injuries, oral defamation or child abuse charges against Garcia.
He added that the family would also file a complaint of child abuse in the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas against disc jockey Mohan Gumatay, more popularly known as Mo Twister, after he allegedly made “derogatory comments” against Bantiles on his radio program.