Lagbas family still grieves, hopes justice to reign soon

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

IT HAS been a year since her husband died from the blast that killed eight, scarred more than 40 and traumatized the Kagay-anons.

Susan Lagbas, wife of the late Misamis Oriental board member Roldan Lagbas, said life has been more difficult now that her husband’s gone and wished she could undo that day and plead to death he won’t take her husband away.

She was supposed to see Roldan that day, but begged off which resulted to a “petty” quarrel between them. Then, Roldan decided to see his friends while his family went to early slumber. That slumber was jolted by calls from a friend who brought that dreaded call no one would like to hear – her husband was one of those hit by shards of the blast.


Though in disbelief, she cried and hoped it wasn’t Roldan.

“I kept on telling my family that it wasn’t my husband,” she recalled.

In the hospital, her heart pounded as she saw Roldan’s feet.

“I was sure it was him, when I saw his feet,” she said.

All her life, she said, she remains in love with the ‘chic magnet’ in the court – Roldan was a basketball varsity player at Cagayan de Oro College. Later in their relationship, she went out of the country to work. The distance didn’t matter as constant communication kept the lovebirds intact.

A smile flashed on her face as she remembered the day they got engaged, and even without uttering her “yes,” her husband sealed the engagement.

“I am still head over heels in love with him despite his permanent absence in our lives,” she said while holding back tears.

To ease her longing for her husband’s presence, her three children sleep beside her except on Fridays as she intends that space for Roldan’s spirit to be with her. “And then I cry.”

“Being alone is the most difficult thing I have experienced in my life. And I will forever be alone. My other half, my best friend, my ex-boyfriend, my buddy is gone now. It’s like losing a bit of your soul,” she said.

The Lagbas’ family still grieves and continues to cope with its loss. Worst, seeing no progress in the case means justice denied.

For them, it has since stopped moving after the murder charges have been filed last year.

Roldan’s brother Danilo Lagbas Jr., the mayor of Kinoguitan, believes that without arresting and putting into the bar of justice any of the suspects is slow-paced despite the ties between Cagayan de Oro Police Office and the city government to bring closure to the blast.


City councilor Ramon Tabor, chairman of the committee on police, fire and public safety, disclosed that Hapids’ location is in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur according to the investigation of the Anti-Kidnapping committee and the NBI.

“Solving this case has been a national effort but no [arrest] has been made,” Tabor told this paper by phone Friday morning.

“My appeal to the national government is to give importance to this matter as this is not only a pure local concern. They have already come up with this result, and I hope they could also help us to the arrest [of the suspects],” he said.

Earlier reports pointed terrorism or personal feud as the primary motive of the bloodshed.

Tabor, however, also believed that terrorism plainly caused the demise of the eight victims.

Inspector Lemuel Gonda, Cagayan de Oro Police Office spokesperson, said the investigation is still under way, while warrant of arrest had been prepared for the capture of Hapids and his possible cohorts.

While Susan watched the basketball game organized by his family and participated by her husband’s immediate friends at Nazareth Gymnasium on Saturday, she wept every now and then telling herself that she is still hopeful nonetheless that justice may soon see some light.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 27, 2014.

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