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Grade 7 pupil’s death shrouded in mystery

By MALU CADELINA MANAR

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Mystery shrouds the death of a 12-year-old school girl who was shot in the backseat of the car driven by her grandfather yesterday.

Police identified the victim as Christine Tumanda, a Grade 7 pupil of Notre Dame of Kidapawan College Integrated Basic Education.

The victim died of gunshot wound on the head while being treated at the Kidapawan Medical Specialist Center.

The gun, a .45 caliber pistol, is owned by the victim’s grandfather, Antonio Corpuz Oppena, a retired Maritime police officer.

Senior Police Officer 4 Moises Abril of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) said initial investigation showed that the victim and her elder brother were being driven to school by Oppena.

The brother, a 14-year-old Grade 8 student, was seated in the front seat.

The shooting took place at 7 a.m.

Police said the bullet entered the left side of the victim’s and exited on the other side.

Oppena told police that Christine took her own life, although it wasn’t clear how the gun ended up in the victim’s hand.

Abril said investigation is continuing. The victim will be subject to a paraffin test to determine if she indeed fired the gun.

The girl’s father, Jamilito Tumanda, said he’s bent on filing murder charges against his father-in-law.

“My daughter was under his care when she was killed. They told me my children are safe with them. But why did my daughter die? My father-in-law should be held responsible for this,” said Tumanda, who has been estranged from his wife for a year now.

Tumanda, an employee of the Cotabato provincial hospital, does not have the custody of his two children.

“I have already asked them on several occasions to give to me my children so I could take care of them but they would always refuse,” Tumanda said. “As a father, I am so devastated. I will let my father-in-law pay for the crime he committed.”

Oppena, who was being investigated by police, declined to grant media an interview.

The victim’s mother also refused to talk to reporters.

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