Slain chief laid to rest with honors

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Friday, September 5, 2014

FAREWELL TO A COLLEAGUE. Colleagues of Insp. Crisanto Abella fold the Philippine flag that had draped his coffin before handing it to a family member during the policeman’s burial at the Calamba Public Cemetery in Cebu City.  (SUN.STAR FOTO/ARNI ACLAO)


INSP. Crisanto Abella, the police chief of the southern town of Alcoy, Cebu who was gunned down last Aug. 24, was laid to rest at the Calamba Public Cemetery in Cebu City with full honors.

The burial was attended by family, friends and colleagues.

Nahatagan siya og gamay nga hustisya kay nadakpan raman ang suspek. Hangyo lang mi sa Ginoo nga mahupay among kaguol (At least his death saw some justice with the arrest of his shooter. However, we’re praying to God to help ease our grief),” said Cris Abella, the police chief’s elder brother.

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Abella was supposed to be promoted to senior inspector this month.

The 44-year-old was shot and killed allegedly by Poblacion Barangay Councilor Ciriaco de los Santos outside the town’s gym.

De los Santos, also a former police officer who was dismissed from service, has been charged with murder.

Requiem mass

Before Abella was buried, a requiem mass was held at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church at 9 a.m.

His remains were brought to the Calamba cemetery where a 21-gun salute was executed in his honor. His family and relatives, clad in white shirts, also released white balloons.

Insp. Julius Ompad, head of the Barili Police Station, said Abella’s death was a big loss to the Philippine National Police (PNP). “Bata pa kaayo siya. Taas pa ta siya og maabot (He was very young. He was bound to rise in the ranks),” he said.

Ompad attended the burial to pay his respects to Abella, who was his classmate when they were commissioned in the PNP Officer Corps under the 2010 Lateral Entry program.

“Jolly kaayo to siya nga pagkataw. Dili gyud to burukinto (He was a very jolly person. He was not a troublemaker),” he said.

Ompad said they were not completely demoralized by Abella’s death because they knew entering police service entailed risks.

Abella and his personnel were patrolling the Alcoy gym where a boxing event was held when de los Santos invited him to drink.

However, during their drinking session, the pair argued.

While Abella walked outside the gym, de los Santos allegedly shot him several times.

The police chief was declared dead on arrival at the hospital, while de los Santos was arrested after a shootout with authorities.

Reaching out

Inside the cemetery, Insp. Rodgene Fudotan, who was installed as Abella’s replacement, said he will step up to the plate in Abella’s absence.

Akong paningkamoton nga mabalik ang kumpiyansa sa katawhan nato (I will do my best to regain public confidence),” he said. He will also reach out to his personnel and ask
them about their problems in the police station.

Barely a week into his assignment, a businessman and a farmer were gunned down in the town’s mountain barangay of Nug-as on Wednesday.

Fudotan said they have already identified the culprits, adding that the victims were killed because they were mistaken to be police assets.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 05, 2014.

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