Mother’s Day hard to celebrate for Gian Habal’s mom, grandmother
MANILA, Philippines — Days before the celebration of Mother’s Day, the grandmother and mother of the six-year-old boy hit by a stray bullet in a Caloocan shootout were grieving over his death.
The grandmother, sixty-five-year-old Elsa Montañez, said she needs distractions to distance herself from the sadness she felt after her grandson’s death.
“Siyempre malungkot kaya lang hindi masyadong inaano, kasi kapag naglungkot ka … kung ano papasok dito mababaliw ka naman (Of course, it’s sad. But you need to manage it or you’ll go crazy),” Montañez told reporters after the boy’s burial at Tala Cemetery in Barangay Silang Caloocan City on Tuesday.
“Kaya kailangan namin yung laging may kausap laging may kwentuhan para hindi namin masyado iniisip yung nangyari (We always need to talk to someone, so we don’t always think about what happened),” she added.
Gian’s mother, Jessa Habal, has not accepted her son’s death yet as she said Gian brought happiness to their home.
“Ang hirap. Hindi ko siya makakasama. Siya kasi nagbibigay ng saya dito sa bahay (It’s difficult to come to terms with the loss and to even think that he is no longer with us. She gives us happiness),” Jessa, whose face looked tired due to sleepless nights, told INQUIRER.net in an ambush interview.
Montañez said will miss Gian’s kindness, noting that she did not have any problems with her grandson.
“Pag-gising ko, nandyan sa tabi ko saka pag tinawag mo yan, ‘Gian halika rito may utos ako,’ isasagot niya, ‘Ano yun, mi?’” Montañez said. “Wala pong problema sa batang ‘yun kaya ang sakit na mawala ang isang ganung bata.”
(When I wake up in the morning, he’s beside me. And when I call him to say I have an errand for him, he always answers: ‘What is it, mi?’)
On April 28, Gian was playing outside their house when a bullet hit him in the forehead during a chase between Police Cpl. Rocky delos Reyes and a drug suspect.
Gian was rushed to the Caloocan City North Medical Center but was pronounced dead by his attending physician.
Justice ‘somehow’ served
Despite the tragedy, the family is thankful for the public’s support and believes that justice was “somehow” served because murder raps have been filed against Delos Reyes.
“Kahit papaano nakuha ko hustisya. Maraming nagmamahal, maraming sumusuporta (In a way there’s justice. We received lots of love and support),” Jessa said.
“Nagpasalamat ako na meron nang katarungan itong apo ko kahit hindi pa siya nahahatulan nasa kulungan na po siya [delos Reyes] (I’m thankful that there is justice somehow for my grandson. Delos Reyes is in jail),” Montañez said.
Delos Reyes, who was assigned to the Caloocan Central Police Station’s Administration Holding Unit, surrendered to authorities after the incident.
Murder charges have been filed against the police officer at the Caloocan City Prosecutor’s Office.
Story of bravery
Montañez, who was still on a wheelchair and with the left foot in a bandage during the funeral, recounted her encounter with Delos Reyes.
“Nung ‘di ko siya binibitawan sa kwelyo, binaril niya ako. Saka siya tumakbo. Nakita ko na kung ano siya pulis siya. Di ko nakita yung pagpatay niya [kay Gian] pero nandun siya,” Montañez said.
(When I was holding him by the collar, she shot me and ran. I saw kind of police officer that he is. I didn’t witness how Gian was killed, but he was there.)
Montañez was wounded after Delos Reyes shot her foot when she tried to stop him from escaping the crime scene.
Asked for a message for the law enforcer, Gian’s grandmother got angry as she was reminded of Delos Reyes’ crime.
“Ano na dapat imensahe ko sa hayop na yun kung ihaharap niya sa akin iyon, mata lang niya ang walang latay sa ginawa niya (What can I say to that man? If you bring him to me now, he would be in bad shape),” she said. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.