DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 October) — Ivan Polinar Almeda, the 20-year old freshman who was shot at the commercial center of the Mindanao State University main campus in Marawi City early evening of October 17, passed away Friday night, October 25, at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (AMPC) in the same city.
Almeda, a resident of Bayugan in Agusan del Sur and a freshman in BS Physical Education at the the MSU’s College of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (CSPEAR), was in coma since his admission at the APMC where he was rushed after he was shot from behind at around 6:30 p.m. on October 17.
He was pronounced dead at 10:58 p.m. Friday, according to the APMC Director, Dr. Shalimar Salma Sampaco-Sani Rakiin.
“Ivan Almeda was pronounced dead at 10:58 p.m. tonight at the Intensive Care Unit of the APMC. Inna lillahi wa inallah-e-raji-con,” she wrote on her FB page.
No suspect has been arrested since the October 17 shooting incident inside campus.
“It is a sad day for us MSUans,” MSU President Habib Macaayong said, adding that Almeda passed away “despite desperate efforts to assist him and the prayers of the community.”
“We mourn the death of one so young and promising and share the grief of his family in equal measure. Our only consolation is he is now in peace and spared further suffering and pain. Ivan fought bravely and ran the race,” Macaayong said.
“But is the moral obligation of the MSU administration and the community not to leave any stone unturned to bring the perpetrator to justice,” he vowed.
Macaayong told MindaNews in a text message on Saturday morning that the Philippine National Police (PNP) is still investigating the case but had initially pointed to two possible motives: “love triangle or quarrel over a game.”
Last week, Macaayong told MindaNews that he summoned the students who were with Almeda when he was shot and was informed that what had been spreading via social media about an alleged fight during a game or a ‘love triangle’ issue were not true.
“Pero nang mag-investigate ang PNP ay lumabas na naman. Galing ang info sa PNP (But when the PNP investigated, these two possible motives again surfaced. The info came from the PNP), he said on Saturday morning.
CSPEAR Dean Hendely Adlawan last week told MindaNews that doctors informed them the bullet entered Almeda’s left occipital and exited “right frontal part.”
Almeda was the eldest of two children. Adlawan said Ivan’s mother, Genevieve, a widow, is an elementary school teacher in Agusan. Genevieve arrived early morning of October 18 in Marawi.
“May your passing on be not in vain”
“Rest in peace our dear fellow MSUan Ivan Almeda. Our hearts are broken. We pray for your beloved mother and sister. May your sacrifice and that of your family become a beacon of light for us all instead and may your passing on be not in vain. You were a son of MSU – all of us MSUans love you. Inna lillahi wa inna daihi rajiun,” Elin Alisha Guro, OIC Director of the University Library wrote on her FB page mid-morning Saturday.
Condolences to Almeda’s family were posted in MSU FB groups, along with cries for justice.
The MSU President on Saturday told MindaNews he “signed the hospital bills, paid the transportation cost for Bayugan with the MSU ambulance” and also paid for the expenses in the funeral parlor in neighboring Iligan City where Almeda was embalmed and placed in a casket.
There are no funeral parlors in predominantly Muslim Marawi as Muslims bury their dead within 24 hours, wrapped in white cloth. The minority Christians in Marawi bring the remains of their loved ones to neighboring Iligan City. (Carolyn O. Arguillas /MindaNews)