Tuesday, 03 April 2012 11:30
Murdered Universidad de Zamboanga (UZ) president Arturo F. Eustaquio III was laid to rest in Islamic practice and tradition yesterday at the university's College of Agriculture in Barangay Pasonanca, as his family's close friends demand for justice.
Archie, as he is called by friends and named Hadji Ammar when he converted to Islam, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen riding on a motorcycle near his home along Maestra Vicenta St. in Barangay Sta. Maria shortly after noon Sunday.
Before his burial at UZ's 100-hectare agriculture school, relatives, friends, students, teachers, local private and government leaders paid
their last respects to Archie who was placed for several hours until 9:00 a.m. inside the Summit Center in Barangay Tetuan.
Archie, the second to the youngest of seven children of the late Engineer Arturo F. Eustaquio, Sr., Zamboanga A.E. Colleges' founder, was described as a brilliant strategist, an avid sports lover, pragmatic yet a decisive decision maker.
"His perspective was far-ranging and he was always supportive to any task or purpose that will redound to the common welfare," wrote Debbie
Balingcos, editor-in-chief of Mindanao Milestone, in her feature story entitled "The only way is to go forward."
For his brother Charlie, "We're not that close, as I am close with the other brothers because he has different activities, but as a
brother, he is okay. there is no doubt about it...during his childhood we did not spend so much time together..."
Prof. Elbert Atilano, head of UZ's Zamboanga Management Committee – Institute of Human Kinetics and a long time friend of Archie, described the late UZ president as a type of boss who is cool. "I never heard him raise his voice to us. He was very mild...if you commit wrong, he will just tell you do it better next time," he said.
Asked his feelings about the death of his friend, Atilano said "Of course, justice and find out who is really behind my best friend's murder because he is a type of person that has no enemy."
Charlie shared the same feelings, but asked people to leave the issue to authorities. "Let's not give additional problem to them...Let's give
them a free hand to do what they have to do...I am not going to demand for anything because we already know that here in Zamboanga, incidents are not solved...how can you make that kind of demand?
He also said that he was shocked and surprised when he heard the bad news about Archie. "I didn't expect anything like this will happen
to him or any member of the family because it's very violent."
"Who would think this thing will happen to any member of our family? We grew up here in Zamboanga. We know how to deal with the people in
the community. We know how we will come in. If there is any problem, we know how to deal with the people," he said.
He also confirmed an information that prior to incident, he heard from some people who are close to his brother talking about the death
threat against his brother. "I don't know whether this is true or not. I have been hearing that kind of threat. I was just informed about it
but there is no way for me to verify it..I'm not sure.."
Close friends of Archie recalled his legacy, such as the conversion of ZAEC into Universidad de Zamboanga and the construction of the Summit Center, hospital and college of agriculture in the city, as well as in Ipil town and Pagadian City.
Councilor Mel sadain condemned the killing and expressed disgust over the concerned authorities' inability to solve unabated crimes in the city. "It's really a shame to be sitting as chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) when the unabated and unresolved killings are happening right in the city where he came and seats as the chair of the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC)...sa city nga walang magawa, sa region pa kaya?" the alderman said in a text message.
Councilor Jawo Jimenez called for the resignation of Mayor Celso Lobregat saying he is appealing as a father and not as a city councilor.
The family and relatives of the late UZ president asked for calm and understanding as they mourn Archie's death.
by: Hader Glang
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