CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES- It was her final exams day in law school when a friend sent her a text message inquiring about her father’s whereabouts. She already got the inkling of what had happened because the text messages suddenly became plenty until a relative called, telling her that her father, Police Captain Delfin Bontuyan was shot. Trying to be composed, she went to the faculty room of the University of San Carlos law school and in trembling voice asked permission from her law professor to be excused.
“Atty please don’t fail me in the exams, I am asking to be excused to verify something about my Dad,” Christine Claire Bontuyan, 23, the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairman of Talamban recalled her conversation with her law teacher in tears to reporters before she left Tuesday afternoon to check on the status of her father.
She took a taxi and noticed that the driver was watching in his phone a Facebook Live post on a person who was shot near the Mabolo police station.
When she asked if it was the one about the shooting incident near a big mall and a home and office furniture store, the driver answered in the affirmative prompting her to look at the post herself which made her more anxious because she saw their Yamaha NMAX motorcycle and the outfit of the person who was shot, it really looked her dad although the face covered with a helmet.
She had to run from a popular eatery to arrive at the spot where the shooting occurred because the taxi that she boarded was already trapped in the traffic caused by the incident. As she arrived at the scene, an uncle was already around shouting her name.
She immediately entered in the yellow police line that was set up but she was prevented in going near her father’s body so that the crime scene will be preserved since the Scene Of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) at that time were still not yet around. It was the longest two-hour wait for the only child of the late police officer before she was allowed to go near him.
As Christine recalled those very tense and emotional moments, she said that the death of her father made her more determined to finish her law school next year. She said they agreed that she finish her law degree next year as it also coincides with the supposed retirement from the service of her father whom she calls, “Papa.”
“Ako gyud nang gisaad nga magtarung gyud kog eskwela nga dili ko mahagbong kay ang among plano adto 2020, 56 na man siya, retired, 2020 mu-graduate na pud ko,” the 3rd year law student said. She described her Papa as her source of inspiration and strength, her protector who made sure that she is safe.
“Very, very over protective. Kanang, this is always what I told my friends, growing up, my Dad has made sure that life for me was very comfortable and very safe. Like he made sure nga I am provided for. Iya gyud ingon nako nga nakaagi ko unsa kalisud ang kinabuhi, dili ko gusto nga maagian tu nimo, makaingon ko wala siyay pagkulang namo.”
Police Regional Director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas revealed however that Bontuyan has been relieved from Central Visayas particularly from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7) because of reports of being linked to illegal drug activities.
Sinas though admitted that no charges were filed against Bontuyan because of the lack of evidence against the police officer but the transfer outside of the region is a deterrent measure.
“He (Bontuyan) was relieved because he was tagged as one of the PNP personnel before that has reports of activities related to illegal drugs,” Sinas said in a press briefing. Bontuyan’s wife, Myra defended her husband, saying the police officer was just a “victim of intrigues.”
She said that her husband have a lot of accomplishments when he was still assigned in Cebu which was the reason why her husband would return to the city almost every month to attend court hearings.
Her husband is assigned in the Sulu Provincial Police Office and is not relieved from the service.
“Kami nga pamilya niya nakahibawo gyud niya. Dili dautan nga tawo akong bana. Dili gyud siya anang kurakot nga buhat sa polis,” Myra, 47, in near tears told iNews.ph. mentioning a latest incident that her husband was threatened of harm when he refused a bribe offer in exchange of not arresting a son of a politician when her husband was the Chief of Police in Pangutaran town in Sulu.
She said her husband is set to return to Sulu and is contented of being assigned there until his retirement in April next year. Christine Claire opted not to respond when asked telling reporters that she is reserving her statement on the requiem mass of her father. She is proud and all praises for her Papa Delfin.
“There is no title, no position or no award greater than being called his daughter. Para nako, he set the standards so high, kay like makakita ko sa uban bata or uban nga mga ka-edad siguro nako, like magka-away sa ilang parents, sa ilang papa. Kami ni Papa never mi nagkaaway, never ko nakasuway nga nakatubag ko niya or nagkatinubagay mi.”
That is coming from Christine Claire Bontuyan, the only child of the late Police Captain Delfin Bontuyan.
Nicknamed “Ching-Ching”, the SK chairman will honor her fallen “Papa”, pursue both their dream, finish her law school and becoming a lawyer./Tonton Alcos Antogop