by Editha Zaragosa Caduaya
Rape, Duterte’s bad mouth and soft heart
On bended knees I begged for help, Government and Women groups turned their back (My sister was raped and brutally Killed)
Maria, A mother of 6, a beautiful young mother, was forced to go abroad because of poverty, like other OFWs in the world now.
She went abroad for work, but went home inside a coffin, she was raped and brutally killed in the Middle East on September 29, 1993, the family was informed of three different versions of her death, the government tried to hide to the family the real cause.
The Philippine Embassy informed Maria’s family only on October 4 for reasons the family didn’t know.
Maria from North Cotabato, her family sought the help of the Secretary of the Department of Labor, the Transportation Secretary and even various women groups including, the militant Gabriela in Manila to help them, and at least- facilitate the transfer of her casket from an international airline in Manila to Davao City, but they failed. Worse they were given a run around.
Maria’s youngest sister, then a correspondent of a known national broadsheet called several women’s group in Manila to help as no one in the family was there to attend for the transfer- the family was struggling to raise funds to pay for the casket, they were told the airfare from manila to Davao is expensive that a human fare.
Endless calls made from October 4 to October 20, but the government was INUTILE and none of the so-called women’s groups either progressive, militant or moderate came to the family’s rescue.
On October 19 at exactly, 12:00 midnight, a stranger visited Maria’s sister in her house in Davao, a man who claims to be a staff of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte informed them, that the transfer and payment for the casket was underway and the family need not worry about the payment because Duterte sent a staff to Manila to help the transfer and the payment.
The same staff told the family,
“Ayaw na mo sige ug hilak, kay ugma sa buntag moabot na ang lawas diri sa Davao (stop crying, tomorrow morning the cadaver will arrive here in Davao).
Seconds, after the man told the sister, someone was calling him over his handheld radio and the staff told the sister, Duterte wants to talk to her.
In between sobs, she talked with Duterte over the radio, heard Duterte said,
“ayaw na kagoul, tabangan ta mo, sultihi lang ko ug naay pay kulang kay aron madala imong igsoon sa iyang pamilya sa North Cotabato (don’t worry, I will help your family, just tell me if you need more help to bring the casket to her family in North Cotabato).
Unknown to the family, Duterte was monitoring the arrival of the aircraft the following morning.
When the cadaver was opened inside the funeral homes along F. Torres St. in Davao, family members were disoriented, the youngest sister horrified but a man with open arms comforted her and told her,
“be strong, Pray. I understand the pain.”
She did not realize, she was heavily crying in Duterte’s arms.
Inside the room, Duterte comforted the family, he cried with them as the family shouted for justice.
When everyone was settled and calm, Duterte stood up and told the family in vernacular,
“we have a problem here, the Philippines does not have BILATERAL LABOR AGREEMENT WITH MANY COUNTRIES and EVEN IF WE FIGHT NOW, IT WILL BE AN UPHILL FIGHT.”
Duterte even went to North Cotabato on his motorbike a day before Maria was laid to rest.
The family is coming out now, because they now deep inside their heart, BELOW THE BAD MOUTH OF DUTUERTE, LIES DUTERTE’s SOFT HEART—READY TO PROTECT ANYONE SPECIALLY THE DISADVANTAGED AND THE FAMILY OF POOR RAPE VICTIMS.
THIS IS MY STORY, it took me two days to draft this story, because I cannot continue writing-crying as I remember the tragic moment how my sister was brutally killed, and how a stranger-RODRIGO DUTERTE came to our rescue.
It pains me to hear people crucifying Duterte when they themselves have yet to try his kind of leadership, they don’t know Duterte inside out.
I am Editha Zaragosa Caduaya, youngest sister of Maria. The girl at the right side of the picture.
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