Math whiz kid cries out for justice for slain father
TANAUAN CITY, Philippines—Eleven-year-old Albriz Moore C. Bagsic has been trying to master the Rubik’s Cube. He also loves to solve Sudoku puzzles and play Mind Trap and How to train the Dragon, among other online games, which he notes make one think, rethink and then think all over again.
But the Grade 6 student of the private Lilyrose School in Tanauan, hometown of the Apolinario Mabini, the “Sublime Paralytic,” also has other more important concerns.
His “most fervent wish” is that the killers of his father, Police Officer 2 Estratuto Bagsic, be brought to justice soon.
That, Albriz told the Inquirer, was “definitely more important than winning medals” in local and foreign mathematics contests. For three years now, he has been a member of the Philippine math team.
During the interview, Albriz appealed to President Benigno Aquino: “May justice be meted out in the killing of my father.”
On June 16, PO2 Bagsic was killed while his wife, Alnice, was wounded when two men on a motorcycle ambushed them as they were taking their four children to Lilyrose School, located just a few meters away from the St. John the Evangelist parish church.
The policeman, then assigned to the Philippine National Police’s Regional Support Group headquarters in Canlubang, Laguna, was hit by three .45-caliber bullets in the head and neck. He died on the spot in Barangay Santor, the same neighborhood where the family lives.
The Bagsics were in an L-300 van when the assailants waylaid them at around 6:30 a.m.
“Although wounded, PO2 Bagsic managed to drive the vehicle a few meters away until the gunmen caught up with them near the gate of the DBP Technopark,” said a report of the Tanauan City police.
The Tanauan City police has formed a special team to determine the motive and brains behind the killing.
Alnice recalled that Albriz was sitting right behind his father, who was at the wheel, when shots were fired.
“Initially, I thought one of the van’s tires had burst,” she said. “Then I saw blood coming out of my husband’s head. I realized that a bullet had also hit me when I saw blood coming out of the left side of my left chest.”
Shortly afterward, she was rushed to the C.P. Reyes Hospital for treatment.
“It was a good thing that our eldest child (Axle Moore, 14) had presence of mind. He was sitting behind Albriz’s seat. When he heard the first gun shot, he immediately rushed to the front and embraced his bloodied father, and told the gunmen, ‘Please don’t kill my father.’ Then he asked his three siblings to lie face down. He covered them with his body, apparently to protect them,” she said.
According to Alnice, the gunmen “had a deliberate intent to kill only Bong (her husband) for still unclear reasons. He was their only target.”
She lamented that her children had no inkling that the previous day, June 15, would be the last time they would celebrate Father’s Day with their dad around. PO2 Bagsic treated his family to lunch at the Walter Mart mall in Barangay Darasa.
The Tanauan police have not arrested any suspect yet, but both Alnice and Albriz said they have not lost hope in the justice system.
On Saturday, the young math wizard urged the Aquino administration to “please help not just the country’s athletes, but also ‘mathletes’.”
He said members of the Philippine math team, like their counterparts in the field of sports, would “surely appreciate getting financial support and other forms of assistance from the government, especially when they compete abroad.”
Like Alnice, Lilyrose administrator Evangeline Lirio-Comia agreed, saying mathletes “also bring honor and pride to their country, not just to their respective families and schools.”
“They also deserve help from government,” she added.
Lilyrose has been giving “full support” to Albriz’s participation in math contests during the past three years.
Last July 26, Albriz, along with 31 other members of the Philippine math team, returned from Daejeon, South Korea, where they took part in the 2014 Korea International Math Competition, or KIMC.
The team placed sixth overall, taking home a total of 27 medals — five golds, five silvers and 17 bronzes — as well as 12 merit awards.
Albriz bagged a silver and a bronze plus a merit award in the 31-nation contest, topped by powerhouse China with 13 golds, followed by Singapore (11), Hong Kong (eight), Taiwan (seven), and Bulgaria (six).
Next to the Philippines were Thailand and Vietnam (with four golds each); Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia (three golds each). Host South Korea took the 15th spot with a single gold medal.
Other KIMC participants included Russia, Canada, Iran, Mexico, India, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, South Africa, and the Netherlands, among others.
Albriz, who has won a total of 17 medals and trophies in various local and foreign math contests since 2012, said he was dedicating his KIMC honors to “God, my family, school and country” in that order.
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