Pinay in Oakland shooting finally laid to rest

by Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Apr 21 2012 06:56 PM | Updated as of Apr 23 2012 11:37 PM

HAYWARD, California - It took 18 days before 24-year-old Kathleen Ping was finally laid to rest.

She was among the 7 people who were shot to death on April 2 in Oikos University in Oakland, California.

Ping worked as a secretary at the university. The suspect, former student One Goh, opened fire inside the school.

She was reportedly shot at close range. Goh is now in custody and is facing multiple murder charges.

Ping’s father hopes justice will prevail.

“The law will deal with him at ang Panginoon ang bahalang humusga sa kanya. Kami, as a family, we already talked about it, pinapatawad na namin siya,” said Ping’s father.

It took weeks before Ping’s parents were able to claim her body from the Coroner's Office.

Her husband, Ian Vicuna, is considered next of kin under the law, giving him the primary right to claim her remains. This caused conflict between him and the Ping family who wanted to have an earlier burial for their eldest daughter.

But Vicuna only arrived in the US only a few days ago after getting a tourist visa.

“They really need to wait for me kasi gusto ko rin makita 'yung katawan ng asawa ko. Halimbawang in-authorize kong ilabas 'yung body niya and then hindi pa lumalabas ang visa ko, hindi ko siya makikita 'di ba?" Vicuna said.

Ping and Vicuna have a 4-year old son together who lives with her family. Vicuna, who lives in Laguna, Philippines, was being petitioned by Ping for a green card, but the petition died with her.

Ping’s co-workers from Oikos University also gave their final goodbyes to her.

John Belariman, a nursing instructor, was a former teacher of Goh. He said Goh did not get along well with anyone at school.

“He is mean, so to speak. Hindi siya gusto ng mga kaklase niya dahil gusto niya siya masunod lagi,” he said.

Another nursing instructor, Bev Concepcion, calls Ping her angel. She said if Ping did not change her class schedule days before the shooting, she could have been one of the casualties.

“Pahahalagahan ko itong second life na 'yung chance ibinigay mo sa akin. Thank you, Kathleen. Thank you so much,” Concepcion said.