Despite 10-year wait, family of slain tycoon remains hopeful in PH justice system
MANILA, Philippines — The family of a slain tycoon from Parañaque City hopes the country’s justice system will prevail and eventually bring closure to their decade-long quest for justice.
It was September 11, 2013, when Antonio P. Antonio, or “Tonton” to his friends and family, was killed, allegedly shot by his son, Nelson, in his BF Homes residence due to a conflict in inheritance.
Tonton sustained six gunshot wounds, which led to his tragic death.
According to reports, the suspect surrendered before the Parañaque City police and was transferred to the Las Piñas City police before releasing him from detention due to a conflict in the jurisdiction.
The local authorities consequently filed a parricide case against Nelson, but it was a little too late since he had already fled to Dubai in December 2013, where he hid for five years.
The family of the 63-year-old businessman had been left heartbroken and hanging by loose ends.
In 2018, local authorities repatriated Nelson and detained him at the Parañaque City jail while the trial was ongoing, which sparked a glimpse of hope for the plaintiff.
The complainants presented pieces of evidence as well as testimonies from 14 witnesses while the respondent failed to present any.
But, as if fate was testing their fortitude, the complainant stumbled another streak of delay after the case’s first two judges inhibited, thus the need to conduct a court raffle in 2022 to determine where the case would be reassigned.
Tonton’s success in the business world and connection with prominent people was just one of the reasons why his death was known by many.
But his son Nelson, being the suspect, created another ruckus and attracted media outlets to cover and follow the story.
Remaining hopeful despite years of waiting
In a phone interview with INQUIRER.net on September 7, Xialen, daughter of the slain businessman, expressed optimism and called for the court to expedite the case and conclude their father’s case.
“Nagtitiwala pa rin kami sa justice system na ma-expedite nila itong criminal case namin dahil alam naman natin may continuous trial naman for criminal cases,” she said.
(We still trust the justice system to expedite our criminal case because we know there is a continuous trial for criminal cases.)
“Pero ang desisyon ay nasa korte pa rin po. Despite sa mga delays na nakuha namin ay nagtitiwala pa rin kami sa kanila,” she added.
(But the decision is still in court. Despite the delays we experienced, we still put our trust in them.)
They are hoping that the promulgation of the case will be anytime soon.
INQUIRER.net also tried contacting the Philippine National Police and the family’s legal counsel, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, but did not receive a response.
Her father’s 10th death anniversary was commemorated last September 9 at the Antonio Mausoleum at the Everest Hills Memorial Park in Muntinlupa City.
Xialen said that a solemn prayer service was held to pay respect to their beloved Tonton.
“Let us remember his laughter, his wisdom, his love. Let us honor his memory by continuing to seek the truth and justice that he deserves,” she said during the simple ceremony.
“It is God’s will, and it is in his plan only that we will attain justice,” she added.
Aside from family, Topacio and Tonton’s former De La Salle University friends were present to accompany them in the commemoration.
“Hindi pa tayo mananahimik kahit matagal na. Konting panalangin na lang, konting hintay nalang ay makukuha na natin ang katarungan. With that ay alam kong magiging masaya na ang ating kaibigan,” Topacio said during the get-together.
(We will not be silent even if the case has already run for a long time. Just a little prayer and wait, and we will get justice. With that, I know our friend will finally be happy.)
Broadcaster Gus Abelgas, whose ABS-CBN program Scene of the Crime Operatives paved the way for Nelson’s overseas entrapment, also paid respect to the perished tycoon.