REDEN and Rose Antolin’s Christmas wish for their child is not extravagant, as what other parents may wish for. Theirs is fairly simple—justice for their son Randall Von Antolin.

The Sports Science major was shot by still unidentified hold-up men last March 14 along P. Noval St. after he refused to surrender his belongings to them. He died minutes after he was rushed to the UST Hospital. This Christmas will be the first for his family without him.

But even with the turtle-paced progress of the case, Sidney, Randall’s fraternal sibling, remains very optimistic.

“I remain hopeful that justice will be given to my brother,” she said. “We (have learned to) leave everything into the hands of the Lord,” Reden Antolin said.

Reden and Rose said their last Christmas was a simple but happy one. They had noche buena at home after attending misa de gallo, even with some of Randall’s friends in tow. Little did they know that it would be their last Christmas with their jolly and prayerful son.

“Happiness was always our Christmas wish for him,” Reden said.

For Sidney, a Journalism junior at the Faculty of Arts and Letters, Randall was a good brother who always took the initiative of planning gifts for their parents’ birthdays.

Noting her brother’s industry, she always saw him deep in reading.

One day, Randall took home a Nestlé Crunch chocolate bar after he excelled in class. “When he got back with his last test results, his score was perfect,” Sidney, a Salinggawi Dance Troupe member, recalled.

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But Randall was no square—he knew how to balance his studies and social life.

Immediately after class, he and Sidney would make a mad dash to the nearest Internet café so they could bond through Defense of the Ancients (DOTA), a popular online game. “Playing online games (with Randall) would be the one I’d miss most,” she said.

Search is over

During the wake of Jef Marty Longyapon last October, his friends, Nursing juniors Michael Manuel Magpantay and Maria Carla Cecilia Madrilejo, fervently recited the rosary for justice for their friend.

Their prayers were heard.

Barely a month after Longyapon’s death on Oct. 14, 2005, the hold-up men, identified as Eduard Samontina, Raymund Lee and Alfie Connonsido of the “Blondie Gang,” were captured. Samontina posted bail, but was brutally beaten to death by an angry mob after his attempt to rob another victim along Blumentritt was foiled.

“We felt relieved,” said Magpantay, of the suspects’ capture.

But even with the death of Samontina and the imprisonment of the two other suspects, the thought of Longyapon’s loss still depresses him.

Magpantay remembered Christmas with the victim.

“Our first Christmas party as friends was held at his place in Blumentritt, a day after the Paskuhan,” Magpantay said. “He (Longyapon) made sure that there would be chicken on the dining table—his favorite.”

Madrilejo said Longyapon bore no grudge against his parents, who left him under the care of his “Yaya” Pane.

“I asked him how he felt toward his parents, and he looked at me wondering why I even asked that question,” she said.

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Before his death, Longyapon, together with Madrilejo, had already planned on holding another Christmas party at his place. However, this plan was spoiled when he got killed on A.H. Lacson St. while defending her girlfriend, Nursing alumna Hervika Pestaño, from the hold-up men.

This year, Longyapon’s friends had wanted to visit his grave on the first anniversary of his death, but the sad part was that they didn’t know where it is.

They explained that Longyapon’s remains were cremated, but his mother and father, who are based in the US and Davao respectively, did not inform them of the columbary’s location. Longyapon’s girlfriend, meanwhile, is in Singapore and is traumatized by the death.

While Christmas is a time of merriment for many, it might be otherwise for friends and family of Randall Antolin and Jef Marty Longyapon.

Justice continues to elude the Antolins while Longyapon’s friends still feel his loss. But their kin and friends find consolation in the thought that Randall and Jef are in a much better place, watching and guiding them through the seasons. Raychel Ria C. Agramon and Jordan Mari S. De Leon

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