Families bury kin, demand justice for Bukidnon bus bombing victims

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/20 December)– Expressions of love and calls for justice highlighted today’s burial of two Central Mindanao University (CMU) students who were among the 10 people killed in the December 9 bombing of a passenger bus of Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. (RTMI) near the university’s main gate.

Families and friends held solemn and emotional burial rites in two separate sites– Malaybalay’s Shepherds Meadow Memorial Park for Marielle E. Achacoso and Barangay Cabangahan Public Cemetery for Kim Lloyd Valiente.

In both funerals, there was a common call for acceptance of their fate and a cry for justice.

Ricardo Achacoso recalled his daughter’s achievements and attributes and called for the acceptance of her fate, even asking for prayers so that her soul may rest in peace.

“I am sure she lived a happy live here on earth. Let us allow her (with our prayers) to be happy in heaven,” he said after the funeral mass at the cemetery’s chapel filled with relatives and friends.

He said she was “a sweet, respectful girl and made the family laugh.”

20 December WIB marielleFamily, relatives, classmates and friends of December 9 bus bombing victim Marielle E. Achacoso, 17, a first year accountancy student of Central Mindanao University, show their love as they cry for justice during her burial on Saturday at the Shepherd’s Meadow Memorial Park in Malaybalay City. MindaNews photo by Walter Balane

Her uncle, Rene, who described her as a good girl who was “ fond of jamming,” believed that God has a plan for the family.

Her friends recalled Marielle’s strong personality and encouragement in times when they were down.

The Achacosos and many of those in attendance, including Marielle’s classmates, wore white t-shirts printed in the front with “We love you Marielle E. Achacoso” super imposed with a photo of the 17-year old first year accountancy student of CMU.

Others wore shirts printed in the front with “Justice for Marielle E. Achacoso” and a graphics of a black ribbon next to the words.

At the back of the shirts, there is also a mix of print: “We love you Marielle E. Achacoso” and “Justice: 12-09-14” also next to a graphics of a black ribbon.

Marielle’s classmates from elementary to college arrived in the burial with many of them staying up until the last shovel of soil was placed on top of her grave. Her parents and siblings released balloons tied in the form of a rosary to mark their goodbyes just after 11 a.m.

In Cabangahan, the Valientes also buried 16-year old Kim Lloyd, a mechanical engineering student, next to the grave of a younger brother and his grandmother.

After the final blessing, his casket was lowered amid the wails of the family members. His father, Jaime, cried that the perpetrators did not know how much they loved their child and that “they have no conscience.”

During the wake, Kim’s aunt said that pain and sadness will remain with them with his death, adding they won’t forget him.

Reports said that Kim was still able to ask help from rescuers but was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital.

His father recalled a memorable encounter with his son a day before the bombing happened: the son said “I love you” to his father and kissed him.

Mr. Valiente, in a forum on December 17, has lamented the failure of the police intelligence network to prevent the bombing, which happened a month after another bomb exploded near the CMU, wounding four passengers.

During the funeral, Kim’s family, relatives and friends wore white t-shirts printed in the front with “We will miss you Kim” and at the back “Justice will prevail. Stop killing innocents. Everything will be okay in the end.”

Teachers and students from CMU attended both funerals, with many of them shuttled by a bus provided by bus firm RTMI.