Colegio de San Agustin (CSA) student Jaime Garcia who was the alleged victim of a serious bullying and assault incident within the CSA campus has been seeking assistance from the Philippine Media to progress his cause versus his tormentors. Garcia’s grandmother, Sony Lopez Gonzales, started by bringing the matter to the attention of ABS-CBN personality Korina Sanchez in a dzMM radio program in mid September this year. The interview was reported on ABS-CBN News which related how Jaime Garcia had been harassed on campus for weeks before he finally lost his temper and hit back, injuring one of the alleged bullies.
A more recent account provided by Garcia himself while being interviewed on TV5’s Good Morning Club and reported on Interaksyon.com shed more light on the incident. It was the alleged leader of the bullying group who Garcia referred to as ‘JD’ and another classmate from that group that were on the receiving end of Garcia’s striking back. But it was JD’s father, Allan Canete Bantiles, that Garcia alleges threatened him with a gun following the incident.
Garcia’s direct account of the gun-pointing incident itself is as follows…
â€œ[Bantiles] asked me if I was the guy who hit his son [‘JD’]. I apologized. In thought he was a reasonable guy,â€ Jamie [Garcia] said.
â€œHe slapped me. He told me never to do that again. He told me, â€˜Youâ€™re crazy. You deserve to be in a mental institution.â€™ I still apologized.â€
According to Jamie, Bantiles wasnâ€™t content and grabbed him, while saying : â€˜You want to fight? You want to go outside now?â€™
Bantilesâ€™ driver and son were in the room when the situation escalated. The fuming Bantiles asked for his â€œgreen denim satchelâ€™, Jamie recalled, and brought out a gun.
â€œHe then said:â€™ I can shoot you right now! You want me to shoot you?â€™â€ Jamie said.
The key question being raised in light of the way CSA and the police handled this incident is quite pointed:
Why wasn’t the police called and Bantiles arrested on the spot or (if no longer at the crime scene) hunted down?
According to reports, Bantiles was allowed to go free following the incident and is reportedly currently in hiding. The Interaksyon.com report noted that the CSA Makati Alumni Association (CSAMAA) for its part merely lodged a “case report” with the Department of Education citing some “actions” taken presumably to demonstrate that measures have been put in place following the incident including…
(1) “increased security on campus”;
(2) “banning of Bantiles [from the CSA campus] ‘indefinitely’â€; and,
(3) “creating an Anti-Bullying Committee.”
Garcia’s father Mike told Interaksyon.com that they sought the assistance of the media after he felt dissatisfaction over these “actions”. The Facebook page Allan Canete Bantiles: The Gun-Toting Man at Colegio San Agustin has since been created to denounce Bantiles’s alleged actions and keep track of progress in taking him to task for these. As of this writing, the page has attracted 1,060 subscribers. Social media “activists” are also on the ball posting various factoids supposedly relevant to the case. On Twitter, a certain Erika Saenz even tweeted what seem to be the model and serial number of weapons registered under Bantiles’s name, a Glock – 9mm with serial number AAAC680 and a Colt .45 with serial number FC 27739.
Is pointing a gun to and making threats against another person a bad thing in the Philippines? You’d think so. Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines states;
Any person who shall threaten another with the infliction upon the person, honor or property of the latter or of his family of any wrong amounting to a crime, shall suffer [the] penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law for the crime be threatened to commit.
In this case, the applicable criminal act seems to be that of frustrated homicide described over Articles 249 and 250…
Art. 249. Homicide. â€” Any person who […] shall kill another without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated in the next preceding article, shall be deemed guilty of homicide and be punished by reclusion temporal.
Art. 250. Penalty for frustrated parricide, murder or homicide. â€” The courts, in view of the facts of the case, may impose upon the person guilty of the frustrated crime of parricide, murder or homicide, defined and penalized in the preceding articles, a penalty lower by one degree than that which should be imposed under the provision of Article 50.
The courts, considering the facts of the case, may likewise reduce by one degree the penalty which under Article 51 should be imposed for an attempt to commit any of such crimes.
Bantiles’s alleged gun-pointing incident which supposedly occured back on the 30th of August is now almost a month old. Yet as of this writing, Bantiles remains at large and the Philippine National Police reports that no charges have as of yet been filed against him.
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