Emotions high as kin bury Tarlac murder victims
PANIQUI, Tarlac — Cries of grief and an outpouring of love surrounded the funeral ceremony for Sonya Gregorio, 52, and her son Frank Anthony, 25, as their family bade an emotional farewell a week after the two were brutally killed by an off-duty policeman.
Rose (not her real name), 14, broke down in tears as the caskets of her mother and brother were opened during the funeral service.
“Mama, mama ko hindi na kita makikita… Hindi ko kaya [I’ll never see you again… I can’t bear this],” Rose said in between sobs.
Relatives tried to console Rose who stood beside the caskets, allowing her to look at her mother and brother for the last time.
Rose then turned to Florentino, her father, seeking for confirmation.
“Papa buhay si mama, hindi sila sinugod, buhay sila, Pa! Sabi nila babalik sila. Nangako si mama. Bakit pa? Bakit?” Rose told her father.
[Mother is alive, they were not attacked, they are alive! They say they will come back. Mother promised. Wha pa? Why?]
“Nandito kami anak, nandito kami,” Florentino replied.
More than 1,000 people turned up during the burial at the Paniqui Garden of Angels Memorial Park in Barangay Salomague here.
They wore white and black shirts printed with messages calling for justice for the two murder victims.
Sonya and Frank were shot dead at point-blank range in front of their house by an off-duty policeman on Dec. 20.
The suspect, Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca, remained in the custody of the Paniqui municipal station pending a commitment order from a court. He is facing double murder charges.
The killings, caught on video and went viral on social media, were reportedly triggered by a confrontation between the neighbors over Frank’s firing of “boga” or an improvised firecracker. The fight was compounded by an old property dispute, investigators said.
Cry for justice
Relatives of the two victims wore black shirts printed with messages crying for justice as they led the funeral march for Sonya and her son Frank on Sunday morning.
They were escorted by some 250 riders from the different chapters of the Police Hotline Movement Inc. in Tarlac towns of La paz, Camiling, Concepcion and in Nueva Ecija, La union and Metro Manila.
According to Florentino Gregorio, widower of Sonya, colleagues of Sonya sponsored the portion of a lot where the victims will be buried. Sonya used to work there as a lot agent.
Suspect Nuezca shot Sonya and Frank at a point-blank range in front of their house on Dec. 20. Investigators said an old family dispute over property and right-of-way triggered the murders.
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