Trust fund set up for Fil-Canadian car crash victim

By Quay Evano, ABS-CBN Canada

Posted at Mar 04 2014 11:31 AM | Updated as of Mar 04 2014 07:31 PM

Filipino-Canadian Francis Pesa

CANADA – Family and friends of Filipino-Canadian Francis Pesa held a peaceful demonstration outside the Calgary courthouse during the hearing for the accused driver on his case.

Kulwinder Singh Chohan has been charged with impaired driving causing injury in connection with Pesa's death last January.

He has the option to elect a judge or jury for his trial.

Friends and representatives from the Filipino community came in full force to support the Pesa family as they seek justice for Francis.

"We're here because we want justice for Francis and we don't want Francis to become just a statistic for drunk driving. We want people to know that this is a crime, this is something that should be properly dealt with, and it should be dealt with quickly," said 1st year college student, Lian Tolentino.

His family has also started the Francis Pesa Trust Fund to keep his memory alive and the causes close to his heart.

Marichu Antonio, executive director of Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary, said the trust fund is called "Francis Lives, Francis Gives'.

"Tungkol ito kay Francis Pesa na namatay dahil binangga siya ng drunk driver dito sa Calgary. Forty-five days na mula noong namatay siya at nakikita naming mahabang paghihintay ito, hindi lang sa korte, kundi pati sa pag-heal ng family," said Antonio, who is also family's spokesperson.

Together with the trust fund, they also started a public education campaign which will be a two-year community action against drinking and driving.

"Hindi lang para sa mga kaibigan ito. Para din ito sa safety ng mga bata na tumatawid sa kalye, pumupunta sa kanilang school, mga bata na iyung young adults na nagda-drive. Malaking lesson ito para sa ating community," added Antonio.

Aside from holding a rally outside the courthouse, the Pesa family and their supporters also demonstrated all over downtown Calgary and handed out fliers to the public to create awareness about the evils of drunk driving.

The accused driver meantime is out on bail. He is scheduled to be back in court on March 20.