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School girl killed self, says father

By MALU CADELINA MANAR

KIDAPAWAN CITY – The 12-year-old school girl who died on the backseat of the car driven by her grandfather Monday has tested positive for gunpowder burns, according to the victim’s father.

Traces of gun powder were found on both hands of Christine Tumanda, a Grade 7 pupil of Notre Dame of Kidapawan following paraffin tests conducted by the North Cotabato police crime laboratory Monday night.

Autopsy results showed the entry point of the bullet was on Christine’s right temple. It exited on the left side of the face.

The results, coupled with the testimony of the victim’s brother, convinced Jamilito “Dodong” Tumanda that her daughter killed herself.

“As to suicide angle, yes, I am convinced that my daughter killed herself,” said the elder Tumanda.

The father also revealed that his son, who was seated on the front seat, told him that the victim shot herself while the vehicle was moving.

The son told his father that Christine has been looking for their grandfather’s gun, a .45 caliber pistol, since last week.

The two siblings were driven to their school by their grandfather, Antonio Corpuz Oppena, a retired Maritime police officer based in General Santos City.

Tumanda is estranged from his wife who left July 2 for a job overseas.

The two children were left under the care of Oppena.

Tumanda said he has been fighting for his children’s custody.

“I have asked them on several occasions that I want my children to live with me but they won’t let me. They were too strict to my daughter. And what happened now? My daughter died while under his care and a gun at that,” the sobbing father said.

Despite the apparent suicide, Tumanda said he would file a case against Oppena.

“Why would my daughter kill herself? What triggered her? She was under the care of my father-in-law, therefore, he should be held responsible for it,” said Tumanda.

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