MANILA, Philippines – When news of the fatal shooting of former Lamitan City mayor Rosita “Rose” Furigay and her executive assistant Victor Capistrano spread quickly throughout the Ateneo on Sunday, July 24, shock and sadness reverberated beyond as sketchy reports of a third fatality surfaced.
One account said the shooter, later identified as Dr. Chao Tiao Yumol, snatched a vehicle on campus and sped away. Another version said he fled on foot and was tackled by an unnamed university security guard.
It took a while before a name and a face came to be associated with the “Ateneo guard” who, it was learned, did not hesitate to stop the suspected killer from fleeing the crime scene. Unfortunately, his sense of duty and courage would turn out to be costly.
The guard, identified as Jeneven Bandiala, was shot and killed by the gunman Yumol, who was determined to strike down anyone who got in his way.
While Jeneven’s family knew him as their everyday “superman” and supporter, the rest of the country would come to know him as the courageous security guard of the Ateneo de Manila University.
Gone unexpectedly, Jeneven, however, will remain in the hearts of his wife and family.
Loving husband and father
A native of Misamis Occidental, 35-year-old Jeneven is the third child of 10 siblings. He grew up in Ozamiz City, where he spent most of his younger years.
His ultimate dream was to become a seafarer – but that dream was cut short when he was forced to work for his family. In 2006, he flew from Mindanao to Manila and worked as a security guard.
Jeneven was assigned to Tutuban in Manila. And there, he found the love of his life, Cristina, also part of the security personnel. The two spent time together, and ended up living together as partners. Jeneven and Cristina were inseparable for eight years, until that fateful Sunday.
Cristina had a child prior to meeting Jeneven, who treated Cristina’s child as his own.
“Actually po wala po kaming anak. Bale may anak po ako sa una. Pero kahit po na ganoon ‘yun, parang tinuring niya pa rin na tunay na anak ‘yung anak ko (Actually, we don’t have a child. I have a child from a previous relationship. But despite that, he treated my child as his own),” Cristina told Rappler.
Their ultimate dream was for Cristina’s son to finish his studies, and then they would go to Bicol, Cristina’s home region, and settle down there.
“‘Yung plano po namin sana talaga, magpatayo po kami ng bahay, mag-iipon. Mapagtapos po namin ‘yung anak ko, ‘yun po. Tapos pagkatapos po noon, plano po sana namin na umuwi na kami ng probinsiya para doon na po kami titira,” Cristina said.
(Our plan was to build our own house, save up, and let my child finish his studies. After that, we planned to live in the province to settle down there.)
But all of these dreams vanished after bullets ended Jeneven’s life.
Cristina said she was not even able to talk to him much on the day he died, though they had a lengthy conversation the night before. Both of them rose before daybreak to prepare for work, and Jeneven left ahead of her. She learned about the tragedy through his supervisor.
“Nabalitaan ko na lang kung ano’ng nangyari sa kanya. Tumawag po ‘yung officer niya sa akin, ‘yun daw po ‘yon. Hanggang sa pumunta na po kami ng ospital kasi nando’n na po siya,” she recalled.
(Then I heard the news. I was informed about what happened to him. His officer called me, and that’s it. Then we went to the hospital because he was there.)
Selfless son, brother
Jeneven’s family was the first witness to his kindness and selflessness. His sister, Mary Ann Bandiala, shared with Rappler how her brother helped them without hesitation.
“Sobrang bait. Malambing kaya nga nakaka-miss lang. Matulungin kaya nga hindi namin makakalimutan. Halos lahat po ng financial, naitulong niya po sa amin, ni hindi niya po kami pinabayaan,” Mary Ann told Rappler.
(He’s so kind. He’s sweet. That’s why I miss him so much. He’s very helpful and we won’t forget him. He helped us in all of our financial needs, he never neglected us.)
Even when they were still young, Mary Ann said Jeneven’s top priority was always his family. Her late brother would always find ways to help them.
“Kahit anong pagod niya, kinakaya niya lahat. Makatulong lang po siya sa pamilya…. Mula umpisa nandiyan po siya lagi sa amin kahit po nahihirapan siya, nandiyan pa rin po siya.”
(Even when he was exhausted, he would do everything just to help his family…. From the very start, he was there for our family. Even if he was having a hard time, he was still there.)
It’s hard for them to accept her brother’s fate, especially since Jeneven had been kind to everyone, even to his colleagues.
Mary Ann said that while their father had become stable after hearing about Jeneven’s demise, their mother – who had recently recovered from a heart problem – remained their top concern. Mary Ann also said their mother suffered from diabetes and had high levels of creatinine, an indication of a kidney problem.
“Sana po mabigyan ng hustisya kasi napakahirap. Hindi ko po kayang tanggapin, sana matulungan kami sa pagbibigay hustisya sa kapatid ko (I hope we get justice because it’s so hard for us. I cannot accept it. I hope you can help us in seeking justice for my brother),” Mary Ann appealed. – Rappler.com