Man full of regrets after losing wife, only son in Davao blast

Greanne Trisha Mendoza, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 05 2016 11:49 AM

A man gazes at the caskets of his wife and son who were killed in the Davao City bombing last Friday.

MANILA - Dennis Larida on Friday looked forward to spending quality time with his wife and their 12-year old son at Davao City's popular night market. He did not know that he would lose his family in a single, powerful explosion.

Dennis had just gotten home from a hard day's work when he gave in to his wife Melanie and son Josh's request for the three of them to get massages at the Roxas Night Market.

He sat at the back of the market's massage section while Melanie and their unico hijo enjoyed their treat.

At past 10 p.m., chaos erupted around Dennis as a blast tore through the packed market. Around him, 10 people died on the spot while scores more were injured.

Dennis did not sustain even a single scratch, but his wife and son were gravely wounded.

Like two other people, mother and child succumbed to their injuries while receiving treatment, bringing the blast's death toll to 14.

At the wake of Melanie and Josh on Sunday, Dennis told ABS-CBN News that he regrets giving in to his family's request to visit the market.

"I wish that I had refused to go. After all, it has been my habit to just stay home when I'm already tired," he said in the local dialect.

Wilfreda Larida, Dennis' mother, also shared her son's sorrow, adding that his grandson will never fulfill his family's dream of seeing him become a policeman or soldier.

"Alam nila na meron akong heart disease. Kaya nahirapan talaga sila na sabihin sa akin," she said. (They know I have a heart disease so they had difficulty in telling me about the news.)

The inconsolable Dennis and Wilfreda are now appealing for justice for the victims.

Dennis, however, said he does not harbor anger against the culprits behind the attack as he believes that it was "part of God's plan."

"God has said, 'Vengeance is mine.' I don't stand a chance in fighting the suspects and seeking vengeance. Justice is what I want," he added.

(Ingon sa ginoo vengeance is mine. Wala koy power na makig gubat sa ilaha. For the sake na makakuha ng revenge. Gina seek nako ang justice.)

Dennis will bury his wife and son's remains on Saturday at the Calinan Memorial Park.

READ: Grieving nation offers prayers, flowers for Davao blast victims

The local government is footing the expenses for their wake and burial services.

Police are searching for three -- and possibly a fourth person -- over the bombing, which has been widely blamed on terror group Abu Sayyaf.

Witnesses said suspects left a bag in the market's massage section prior the explosion.

READ: Witnesses, CCTV clips of Davao blast now in police custody

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has offered P2 million for their immediate capture.