Teen survivor decides to keep family together-A A +A
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
IN DEATH, they will stay together.
The remains of the family killed in Barangay Tabunok, Talisay City will be transported to Sorsogon, Bicol this weekend, including the household head who allegedly shot them.
Some relatives of her father Emmanuel, 55, initially opposed the idea, but eventually yielded to the decision made by 13-year-old Embrelaince Ponce, the lone survivor.
“Nganong buwagon man nato sila? (Why should we break them apart)?” Embrelaince reportedly asked her relatives.
Also this weekend, the running community in Cebu will hold a special run on Sunday to pay tribute to Melinda, an ultra-marathoner who inspired many other runners.
Proceeds of the run will be given to Embrelaince, the family of helper Anastacia Deriega, and a center for abused women and children in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City.
Last Sunday, retired seaman Emmanuel allegedly shot his wife Melinda 53, their children Elaine Grace, 26, Heather Joy, 24, and Emlin Bridge, 18, inside their home in Palm View Village. He also shot their helper of five years, Deriega, then turned the gun on himself.
The tragedy has provoked the police to review the process that led to Emmanuel’s obtaining a license for the .45 pistol he allegedly used last Sunday.
Senior Supt. Louie Oppus, Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 deputy director for operations, said they will enforce strict compliance in issuing licenses for firearms.
In a report over GMA 7’s “Balitang Bisdak”, Oppus questioned how Emmanuel was given authorization for his .45 pistol, if he had suffered from nervous breakdowns since a fall 10 years ago. He added they will trace the records.
Both Melinda and Emmanuel’s families are advising Embrelaince in dealing with the burial arrangements and planning for what she’ll do afterwards.
“Though, at first, we were not on good terms, there’s no problem at all today,” said Paul Redula, a cousin of Embrelaince.
The teenager reportedly plans to come back to Cebu after the interment to finish high school.
Originally, she wanted to continue living in their house in Palm View Village, with adult supervision. Instead, she chose to live with her cousins, also in Barangay Tabunok.
She still has to undergo further evaluation and counseling, while her relatives have to sort out who will assume as her legal guardians.
Plans to transfer Deriega’s wake to Negros Occidental were called off.
Instead, she will be buried in San Isidro, Talisay City, where she will be close to her husband Ronald.
This weekend, while Melinda and four other members of her family will be buried in Sorsogon, her friends in Cebu’s running community will hit the streets in her honor.
The 5K event, dubbed “Run In Peace, Melinda Ponce”, will be held at the Ayala Terraces on Sunday, starting at 5 a.m.
Registration forms are already available, for P150, at the Runnr shop at Ayala Center Cebu. Runners are encouraged to wear white singlets or shirts to pay their last respects to Melinda.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 19, 2011.