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Killer’s daughter needs help, not hostility – Synergeia

The horrific shooting of a mother and her son by a policeman over a minor incident, caught in a video that went viral, has led to a renewed public outcry against senseless killings.

But many have unjustifiably berated the police officer’s young daughter online, citing her seemingly cold reaction to a heinous crime that unfolded in front of her. The child’s impassiveness could, in some way, be a cry for help.

The video showed how 52-year old Sonya Gregorio was shot in the head at point-blank range by Jonel Nuezca, shortly after his daughter screamed “my father is a policeman” at her during an altercation on Sunday in Paniqui, Tarlac.

Nuezca, who was off duty, shot Gregorio’s 25-year old son Frank Anthony next. Father and daughter then walked away, according to a witness.

Nuezca has since turned himself in and has been charged with two counts of murder. His daughter continues to be the target of vitriolic comments on social media.

Synergeia Foundation condoles with the Gregorio family for the murder of Sonya and Frank Anthony and joins the call for justice for them and for their family.

Synergeia is also against the condemnation of the policeman’s daughter.

Every child has the right to live in an environment without fear and violence.

Because the child witnessed her father kill two people in cold blood, she may have experienced some form of trauma. She will undoubtedly need help mentally and emotionally to cope with what happened, instead of harsh judgment from people whose sole image of her is the one from the video of the gruesome crime.

As the late South African President Nelson Mandela said: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

Synergeia has been working for every Filipino child to have access to basic education. It believes that along with education, as mandated by law, every child has the right to be brought up in an atmosphere of morality and rectitude to enrich and strengthen his character.

While millions of children learn at home after the pandemic forced school closures, Synergeia has been advocating that it is critical for parents to include character building as an essential learning competency as they take on the teachers’ role. Character building, as it is often said, starts at home.

Since parents are powerful role models for their children, it is important for them to set good examples in terms of behaviour and attitudes.

And in an era when social media has become a platform for validation, Synergeia believes it is crucial for parents to ensure that their children live in an environment free from judgment and harmful influences.

As it transforms communities to give top priority to the education of every child, Synergeia will continue to work on reforms towards a learning system that will help every child develop his full potential and strengthen his character.