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Slain student’s family calls for kindness, compassion

Clad in black and white “humanity shirts”, family, friends and other sympathizers marched yesterday to send slain architecture student Nick Russel Oniot to his final resting place at Heritage Park Area 1 in Taguig City.

Melany Oniot, Nick Russel’s mother, couldn’t help but reminisce the sweet memories she shared with his 18-year-old son who died after being stabbed 18 times while resisting a holdup on Oct. 14.

Nick Russel’s funeral started at 12 p.m., with hundreds of attendees walking in solidarity with his grieving family. It ended at around 3 p.m.

“Napakasweet na bata. Minsan, daratnan ko ‘yan na madaling araw eh gumagawa pa ng plates, sasabihin ko ‘Anak, matulog ka na bukas na ‘yan.’ Sasabihin niya lang sa akin na ‘wag ko na siya alalahanin dahil gusto niyang matapos ‘yung mga project niya. Pursigido talaga siyang makatapos,” Melany said.

The eldest of the six siblings, Shiela, 25, said that they thought of making “humanity shirts” as a fund raising project to help them financially while raising that anyone should not hesitate to help if there is someone in need.

Printed on the humanity shirts were the frustrations and lamentations of Nick Russel’s family such as “We can see humans but no humanity”, “Don’t be afraid! Don’t ignore! Be aware!” and “Your help can save lives and dreams. #SaveHumanity”.

The death of Nick Russel happened as he was about to go home from school. Ricardo Clave, 29, and Marvin Bernardo, 36, held him up and stabbed him 18 times after they failed to get his bag.

Clave and Bernardo were arrested in a follow-up operation but the latter was shot dead by the police in alleged “gun-grabbing” incident.

Nick Russel’s kin expressed disappointment over the witnesses who did not immediately help the victim, claiming that one even took a picture while he was lying on his own blood.

As for Renato, Nick Russel’s father, he said that he knows God has a plan and he is trying to understand why it happened to his son.

“Masakit na masakit pa rin sa akin bilang ama. Lahat ng gusto niya ay ibinibigay ko eh tapos papatayin lang siya ng ganun. Pero siguro hanggang doon na lang talaga ang buhay niya, may plano ang Diyos,” Renato said.

Anyone who wanted to avail of the P200 humanity shirt can reach Nick Russel’s family through a Facebook page called “Justice for Nick Russel Oniot.” (Martin A. Sadongdong)