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A portrait of Jefferson Bunuan

Life had been tough for Jefferson and his four siblings ever since they lost their father to homicide. It was the kind of life that could have led to desperation and hopelessness. But Jefferson wanted a better life, and more than that, he wanted to be on the side of justice. Which was why his dream was to become a cop.

A charity sponsored him through school for 11 years and by sheer persistence and hard work, he managed to get into a university and began studying for a degree in criminology.

But life is tough for people like Jefferson, and the jokes it plays on them can be especially cruel.

Police raided a suspected drug pusher's home in Jefferson's neighbourhood one night, the same night that Jefferson and his cousin Mark Anthony slept over at the suspect's house because Jefferson's sister had just had a baby. The young men wanted to give her and her baby some space.

Totong, the suspect, surrendered to the police, according to witnesses, and begged them to leave his two young friends as they were innocent. The cops ignored his pleas, and gunned down all three men.

The police labelled the incident as a buy-bust, and the three men as armed drug pushers. The lie was published in the papers first, and the truth, as spoken by the witnesses, Jefferson's sister and the charity, came out a few days later.

It didn't matter. The soft-spoken, hardworking future cop was gone.

He was 20 years old.




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