November 28, 2010

Remembering Jude Castaneda Wal II

January 25, 2008: Nine bullets were emptied by a gunman into the body of a student. That student's name was Jude. He was driving his younger brother to school when the devil riding in a motorcycle came from nowhere and riddled him with bullets. One less life to worry about, the devil was probably saying to himself as he rode off to escape.

Jude was a classmate of mine on several occasions when we were both accounting students at Saint Louis University. We were not that close but he was a friend. He was the kind of guy who would give you a nod or a hand slap when you meet him on say Session Road or along the corridors of Diego Silang Building, where SLU's College of Accounting used to be located.

I can still vividly remember the last time I saw him before he was shot to death. We were in a classroom. Yellow worksheets were being passed around everywhere. It was probably about 10 minutes before our next class starts. Everyone was rushing and copying each other's work on an assignment which was due that day. Jude was seated at a table behind me and he was copying my assignment which I also copied earlier from another classmate. That was the last time I saw him.

A few days later, the gunshots rang out on the streets of Baguio City.

I am writing about this because last Sunday's edition of the Baguio Midland Courier reported that the shooter was meted a 40-year imprisonment by the RTC. He however is just the one who pulled the trigger. The man who paid him to pull the trigger is still at large. Justice will eventually catch up with him. We hope.

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