Family, teachers mourn death of an ‘angel’-A A +A
Thursday, October 6, 2011
THE angel whom Gabriel Morales was named after was a bearer of good news.
In the Bible’s Old Testament, the angel Gabriel explained visions in the Book of Daniel. In the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament, he appears again to predict the births of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.
In his last few hours alive, seven-year-old Gabriel Morales told Mario Abecia, 42, some sad news. Gabriel said his mother Christine, Abecia’s former girlfriend, already had another lover.
But the Grade 2 pupil had no inkling of his own death, for which Abecia will now face criminal charges.
The boy Gabriel was found dead inside Abecia’s house in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City last Tuesday morning.
Abecia admitted he was the one who wrapped Gabriel in a bed sheet and buried the boy in a hole near his toilet last Sunday.
Last Saturday afternoon, he said, he fetched Gabriel from Christine’s house in Barangay Umapad; later that night, he taped the boy’s mouth and tied his ankles with a towel. The autopsy indicates Gabriel died that same night.
“Sakit kaayo kay may pagkalambing nang bat-ana (It’s so painful. He was a loving and demonstrative son),” said the boy’s mother Christine.
For Virginia Sungahid, the boy’s class adviser at Opao Elementary School, the Teachers’ Day celebration yesterday was incomplete.
“Kuwangan mag usa (We were missing one pupil),” said the teacher, who now has only 59 in her class.
She said she will miss Gabriel, whom she described as “angelic.”
“He was the silent type, kind,” she said in Cebuano. “He always listened when I was discussing something, and he was helpful.”
Sungahid tearfully recalled the last time she spoke with Gabriel last Friday afternoon. She said the boy volunteered to water the plants.
School principal Rufa Abanid said they now plan to give cash assistance to the boy’s family.
Charlie James Mendoza, 7, Gabriel’s seatmate and friend, said they loved to draw animals together. When Gabriel lacked money to buy snacks during recess, Charlie said he sometimes gave coins to his classmate. Gabriel returned the favor when it was Charlie who had nothing to eat, the child said.
Vincent, 11, the victim’s older brother, said they sometimes played Special Forces, an online game, together it. Vincent thinks that was why Gabriel wanted to become a soldier when he grew up.
“Motuo to siya kon sugoon pero usahay di kon kapuyon (He obeyed orders, except sometimes when he got tired),” he said.
He said he could never forgive Abecia, who allegedly sent threatening text messages to their mother.
“Patyon kuno ko niya ug si Monica (He threatened to kill me and my sister Monica),” he said.
Last Sunday night, Gabriel appeared to his schoolmate and playmate Oliver Vicente, but then disappeared.
“Nikatawa ra siya (He only laughed),” said Christine, quoting Oliver.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 06, 2011.