Setting the record straight on certain aspects of the case, the mother of the 17-year-old girl who was sexually abused by her uncle over a period of five years in Virac told the Tribune that what happened to her only child is making her think twice of going abroad again.
It may be recalled that details of the story were pieced from verbal accounts rendered by a law enforcement officer who was not authorized to speak on the matter and information on the penalty meted by the Regional Trial Court on the accused as provided by an employee who read only the dispositive portion of the decision.
The 46-year-old resident of a coastal village contacted the Tribune the other week to correct erroneous details in the story that appeared in the Sept. 14, 2022 issue.
At a boulevard tea shop a week later, she said that the man who pleaded guilty to one count of rape by sexual assault and 659 counts of violation of Section 10 of Republic Act 7610 was unemployed at the time.
She said she had been working as a domestic helper for a princess in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia since 2000, about five years before her daughter was born.
The infant was left in the care of a sister as all four female siblings lived within one compound, with one of the houses belonging to her and her husband.
The first time she returned to Virac was when the child was already two years old.
She went back to her overseas job and was later brought to Egypt by her employers, a contractor and his teacher wife who treated her like family.
In 2019 when she took a two-month vacation, she already had suspicions that there was something going on between her daughter and the suspect, who was married to one of her sisters.
One sibling had told her of a letter sent by the suspect to the victim, telling her he could not forget what had happened between them in the past three years.
She began observing the conduct of the suspect but this was cut short as she had to go back abroad to fulfill her contract.
In 2020, her husband strongly advised her to come home but she could not leave her employer. That same year, on Oct. 23, he died from a lingering illness.
She mourned his death from afar as her Egyptian employers did not permit her to leave for the Philippines.
She finally took a vacation in March 2022 and everything unraveled when she arrived, with her sister’s husband narrowly escaping death by jumping over a fence.
She told the Tribune that they were planning to bring the complaint of child abuse before the barangay chairman where things could be settled. At the time and until now, the mother of the victim said that her sister does not believe the accusations against her husband.
Instead, she and her daughter were advised to go to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office where the mother was told to go out of the room.
Inside, the girl finally narrated the ordeal that she went through in the past five years.
When she was informed of her daughter’s confession, the mother was heartbroken as she never expected it to happen.
She said that most of the time her daughter kept to her room, preferring to play on the tablet given by her mother.
With the case almost closed and awaiting only the transport of the convict to the national penitentiary, the mother is thinking of relocating to another barangay but is hesitant to leave the house she built out of her sacrifice abroad.
Her employers in Egypt, a contractor and his teacher-wife, have been calling for her to come back but she has decided against it.
While her stint with the family in Saudi Arabia was nice, the transfer to Egypt brought her in contact with the man’s family who she claimed were not of similar character as the couple.
The family also went to resorts and other places almost every weekend, leaving her to drag several heavy suitcases along wherever they went.
A graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Management in Manila, she said she was supposed to go to New Zealand but she missed the opportunity as her mother was hospitalized at the time.
She said she would like to try Israel for her next overseas job but her daughter has asked her to stay, saying that what they earned from cooking native delicacies like pichi-pichi and selling them online would be enough for them.