The trial hearing into the brutal killing of a mother and son in Paniqui, Tarlac by policeman Jonel Nuezca has finally started, almost two months after the incident made national headlines before Christmas last year.
Florentino Gregorio, husband and father of victims Sonya and Frank Anthony Gregorio, testified in court during the first hearing held on Feb. 4.
The suspect, policeman Jonel Nuezca, was present via Zoom.
“Nung pinapoint sa akin, pinatanggal ko mask niya. Pinatanong ko kung anong pangalan niya para nadidinig ng korte na siya ang tinutukoy ko,” Florentino said in an interview on TeleRadyo.
He said the first hearing tackled damages in the case. “Puro danyos lang po ang napag-anohan,” he said.
Florentino is the husband of Sonya, who, along with their son Frank Anthony, was shot in cold blood by Nuezca in Dec. 20, 2020.
Florentino said the family is seeking damages, but he added that it will never be enough for the lives that Nuezca took.
“Hindi po sapat ‘yun sa dalawang buhay na kinuha niya sa aking mag-ina dahil buhay po ‘yan,” he said.
He said the next hearing will be held Feb. 20 where a family member who took the video of the crime would be testifying before the court.
In that video that became viral on social media, Nuezca was seen engaging in a heated argument with the Gregorios over the use of a homemade cannon. The devices, which make a booming sound, are typically used to celebrate New Year.
Sonya was seen in the video wrapping her arms around her son as the row intensified before Nuezca shot her in the head and doing the same to Frank.
Before fleeing, Nuezca shot Sonya again.
Nuezca surrendered to police that night. He faces two counts of murder.
Florentino said the situation would not have been the same without the video. “Baka mabaligtad pa pangyayari,” he said.
The government has promised a thorough investigation. The family is hoping for a speedy trial on the case.
“Gusto ko mapagdusahan niya ‘yun,” he said.