In just more or less three months, I have shuddered twice during our Victory Small Group Meeting. First was last October when I heard of what happened to Given Grace Cebanico. And today again when my groupmate Chi Cariaso asked us to utter a word of prayer for Rochel Geronda, the Los Banos National High School student/sampaguita vendor who was mercilessly raped (probably) and killed in the evening of February 28.
When I saw her picture flashed on TV earlier, I am pretty certain I’ve seen her a couple of times, trying to sell her sampaguita. Chi and Rhia (my other groupmate) mentioned that they were able to invite Rochel and her co-sampaguita vendors to church several times.
I feel sick that this happened to her. I am also very mad at the people who did this to her! Ang kapal ng mukha ninyo at wala kayong kakonse-konsiyensya! I am so tempted to type vulgar words and curses, but I am not going to stoop down to your level! When the culprits to Given Grace’s rape-murder were so quickly arrested, I thought to myself that if anything, that would at least scare or deter rapists from committing such evil acts for a long time. BUT NO!!! Those who did this to Rochel were so brazen and seemingly fearless! Nakita naman siguro nila kung paano kinondena ng komunidad ang mga walang pusong rapists-murderers ni Given Grace, kung paano umiyak ang mga magulang at kaibigan ni Given Grace...pero ano, wala lang?!? Para lang sa sandaling panahon na mapagbigyan nila ang tawag ng laman nila?!? I wonder what kind of people these are. Shame, shame, shame on you! Just the thought of you makes me want to vomit.
I was hoping that the news of what happened to Rochel would travel quickly–‘pag napag-usapan at ginawang malaking issue rin ito, mas madaling mabibigyan ng hustisya ‘yung bata. But alas, I never even saw any reference given to it on Facebook or Twitter. I also Googled, but only two clippings came out. I FEAR THAT THIS WOULD BE JUST ANOTHER RAPE-MURDER CASE UNSOLVED.
LB community, Kailangan bang UP student din si Rochel para maging deserving sa JUSTICE FOR ROCHEL status sa Facebook? Kailangan bang UP student muna siya bago mabigyan ng indignation rally? Para ma-share ‘yung news article tungkol sa kanya nang maraming beses?
I feel for Rochel’s mom–she must have known that the attention given to the tragedy that happened to her daughter will be far, far from the attention to Given Grace’s–on the news, she was crying uncontrollably when she said, “Makakatakas kayo sa batas pero sa Diyos hindi“, or something to that effect. Not even a “Mahuhuli rin kayo” or a “Mabibigyang hustisya rin si Rochel” comment.
Tonight was supposed to be a night I would spend watching a movie with my husband–I was in no mood to blog. But with what’s happening (or not!), I feel compelled to do something. This is the least I could do for her.
I am not a member of any civic organization, and I am not an influential person. But I hope what I have written will reach someone who is…we have to show those criminals that we are enraged at what they have done! Hindi ko ma-take na nagtatawanan lang sila (criminals) ngayon, sinasabing, “Hindi naman UP student ‘yung ni-rape at pinatay natin, ordinaryong high school student lang na nagtitinda ng sampaguita, tapos wala ding pera ang pamilya. Abswelto na tayo diyan!”
PS: Let me clarify that I am in no way angry at the UPLB community. It was expected that the UPLB community gave Given Grace that much attention because she
is was a member of that community: her classmates, instructors, dormmates, churchmates, etc. were of course very affected. If anything, I salute the UPLB community for having done it for Given Grace. But I can’t help but feel sorry for Rochel, who was just a regular student-slash-sampaguita vendor who came from a very poor family. Wala siyang friends na influential, na pakikinggan, na kayang mag-organize ng indignation rally. The mass media is also treating this as “just another rape case”, probably because Rochel is NOT a UP student (aminin na natin, iba ang treatment ‘pag UP student) or a daughter of an affluent person. Thus I am actually asking the LB community to make a big deal out of this, especially those who were close to Given Grace (because what happened to Rochel is an insult to Given Grace’s legacy–hindi pa nagtanda ‘yung mga rapist, parang china-challenge pa tayo, and those who have the power and influence. I hope our leaders would step up to set a message across: Walang lugar sa Los Banos ang mga mamamatay-tao at rapist. Those lowlives must at least live in fear, knowing that they will rot in jail any time soon, because we will make sure that we will get them.
Thanks (added March 2, 2012)
Tell me what you think!
Powered by Facebook Comments