What she feared most has come to pass, ma says

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014


THREE days before he died, Insp. Crisanto Abella told his family that he might not be able to return home soon because the activities for Alcoy’s fiesta would keep him busy.

The town’s police chief had no idea his absence would be permanent.

Inspired by him, some of his 11 siblings had wanted to become police officers, but their mother Florencia, 68, wouldn’t allow them.

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Ang akong kahadlok nga mahitabo sa iyaha nahitabo gyud (What I feared would happen to my son has come to pass),” Florencia said.

Abella last saw his family last week, when he surprised his partner, Geraldine Dosdos, by coming home during her birthday last Aug. 21.

That was part of his routine. Whenever off-duty from the Alcoy Police Station, he would go home to Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, where neighbors described him as a humble, funny man who never bragged about being a police chief.

He preferred being called Bolard, his childhood nickname.

Abella, 44, died last Sunday night while at work, after being shot allegedly by Barangay Councilman Ciriaco delos Santos Jr., a former policeman. (See main story, A1)

For promotion

Mura siya’g giihaw nga makapangutana ka nganong nahitabo ni sa iyaha (It seemed like he was slaughtered. Why did this have to happen to him?),” said Dosdos, 28.

The gunshots ended a career that was hard-won and still rising. The police chief had been scheduled to leave Alcoy Police Station last Aug. 5 to attend a training course, a requirement for his promotion.

However, town officials requested that he stay longer, because they found his performance commendable.

“Based on what I have heard, he was doing well. I haven’t heard any negative feedback about him,” said Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Chief Noel Gillamac in a phone interview.

He said that Alcoy Mayor Nick de los Santos had sent him a letter requesting for Crisanto to remain as the southern town’s chief of police.

“It is very unfortunate that we lost a good police chief like him,” the mayor said in a separate interview.

Caution

Gillamac ordered an investigation on the attack and advised all police operatives to stay vigilant at all times.

“It very unfortunate that this happened. We policemen handle various issues that may anger other people. Magbantay lang gyud unta ta pirmi (Let us always take precautions),” added Gillamac.

Before entering the police service, Abella took on different jobs to pay for college.

He cleaned cars, worked in construction sites and served as a waiter. He also used a talent in dancing by becoming an instructor at one point.

Abella grew up in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City and was the third child in a brood of 12. His mother Florencia is a laundrywoman while his father, who has passed away, was a factory worker.

Abella studied criminology in the University of Cebu and started his career in the police in 1997.

Despite his rise in the service, he stayed modest.

Abella wouldn’t even let other people call him “Sir”, said a neighbor, Noel Linares.

When he wasn’t in his police uniform, people wouldn’t even know he was a police chief, another neighbor said.

A simple man

Simple ra kaayo to siya diri. Dili siya magsige’g dala ug armas, unya mag shorts ug sleeveless ra gani to siya diri. Dili gyud manghambog ba nga police siya (He was so simple. He didn’t carry a gun around, and liked to wear shorts and a sleeveless shirt. He never boasted that he was a police officer),” said Jonard Abarquez, who lived next to Abella’s house.

Di gyud ka makahibaw nga hepe siya kung wa ka kaila niya (If you didn’t know him, you’d have no idea he was a chief of police),” said Dosdos, who lived with him for more than five years.

SPO2 Primitivo Carungay, the town’s deputy chief, said they will miss Abella, who got along with others very well.

Abella’s younger brother, Eliser, recalled that the last time they spoke was last Sunday morning. His brother sounded fine.

He recalled, however, that several weeks ago, Crisanto lamented that he had done something that may have displeased someone important in Alcoy.

Pila nato ka semana magsige siya og ingon nga dunay kuno siya’y gikabangga nga dakong tawo didto sa Alcoy (A few weeks ago, he kept saying that he had run into a big shot in Alcoy),” said Eliser.

Whether or not that had something to do with the police chief’s death, his family has yet to find out.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2014.

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