Allan Bantiles denies pointing gun at CSA student
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – The lawyer of a Colegio San Agustin (CSA) high school student filed two complaints before the Makati Regional Trial Court Tuesday afternoon against the parent who pointed a gun at the student inside the campus.
Atty. Alan Tan of Maceda law firm said they believe the parent, Allan Cañete Bantiles, violated Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code (attempted murder) and Article 358 and Article 359 of the Revised Penal Code (slander and slander by deed), when he went to CSA last month, slapped 18-year-old Jaime Garcia, and pointed a gun to his face.
Tan admits that although CSA has not been cooperating with them as they have yet to retrieve the statements of the witnesses, they believe their evidence is strong.
For the first time, the mother of the student, Mrs. Toni Gonzales Garcia, faced the media on Tuesday.
Seated beside her son, she was emotional when asked by reporters how she felt when she found out about the incident and if they plan to settle this incident with the suspect’s family.
“Everything inside of me was shaking. No child should have to have gone through with that,” she said.
Mrs. Garcia said they have decided to pursue the case since they have not felt that Bantiles has been remorseful at all.
“He should have gone through the proper channels. He should have gotten the details and not jump to conclusions,” she said.
The Garcia family also wants to send a message that such acts such as pointing a gun on somebody's face should not be tolerated so he must suffer the consequences.
The student said he is still traumatized, regularly has nightmares and worries about his future especially since he will be attending college next year.
“I still have nightmares about it. Every night, I think about what Mr. Bantiles said and I ponder would I really have died that day? I’m worried na how will this affect my life. Next year I’m going off to college, I wonder if ever they’re going to accept me because of this,” he said.
The student’s family said the actions implemented by CSA are not enough.
They also appealed to other witnesses to come out and give their own versions of the story.
Bantiles camp denies gun-toting
The camp of Bantiles, meanwhile, has denied that the suspect pointed his gun at the 18-year-old Garcia.
Bantiles’ lawyer, Atty. Richard Nethercott, said they are ready to show evidence that his client did not point his gun.
“Dinadamdam niya itong lumalabas sa media. But he has no choice kung hindi tatagan niya ang loob niya…’di naman tinutukan ‘yan. That, we are very ready, willing and able to prove,” said Nethercott.
CSA appeals for calm
The school’s management, meanwhile, has appealed to the parents and guardians to remain calm amid the incident, giving its assurance that the students’ safety is a top priority.
“I am sending you this message to reassure you that life at CSA is normal, that your children are safe and well taken care of, and that there is no cause for alarm,” CSA rector Fr. Horacio Rodriguez said in statement.
Rodriguez said the school has taken necessary steps and measures to prevent similar occurrences from happening again.
“I truly sympathize with you and feel sorry on account of those mixed feelings of disappointments, embarrassment and anxiety that you are experiencing these days,” he said.
Rodriguez added that he hopes that this “disturbing shadow cast on the beautiful image and reputation of Colegio San Agustin will soon disappear from the Augustinian skies.”