A 29-year-old woman was placed under the custody of Talisay City’s Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) after she allegedly physically abused her five-year-old daughter in Sitio Kimba in Barangay San Roque on Saturday, Feb. 16.
According to Jennifer Delijero, 36, one of the witnesses who took and uploaded a video of the incident on Facebook, Grace was angry with her daughter, Angel, for failing to go home for two days.
SunStar Cebu is withholding the names of the mother and daughter to protect their identity.
“She got mad because her daughter did not come home for two days. She found the girl in the internet café, then she started hitting the girl and pulling her hair,” Delijero said.
Several residents and neighbors came to pacify Grace but she only continued to hit her daughter, prompting them to report Grace to the barangay officials.
“The girl doesn’t want to go home because her mother hits her all the time. This time, she hit the girl with a stick, so the girl ran to the neighbor’s house,” Delijero added.
The girl is now under the care of a houseparent of DSWS.
The video of the incident went viral on Facebook and had been shared 32,000 times since it was uploaded on Saturday, Feb. 16.
In the video, the child looked pale and would not stop crying. The neighbors took turns standing in front of Grace to keep her from hitting Angel.
“Dili na ko nimo (I don’t want to be with you anymore),” Grace repeatedly said, according to one of the neighbors.
According to Delijero, it was not the first time that Angel was maltreated by her mother.
“Each time she gets hit, Angel runs to the neighbor’s house where Grace tells her to ask for food,” Delijero added.
Another neighbor, Lilia Puerto, said that two days before the incident, Grace asked Angel to buy medicines for her at 11 p.m.
“She came here to ask for medicine because her mother was sick. But I did not have any medicine and all the stores were closed. When I asked Angel, she said she was told to buy medicine but her mother did not give her any money. Angel keeps saying she’s had enough of her mother. That’s why she refuses to go home. She gets hit for the smallest thing,” Puerto said in Cebuano.
At the barangay hall, Puerto said Grace denied that she hurt her daughter. The DSWS personnel came to pick her up the following day and brought her to their office.
SunStar Cebu tried to get Grace’s comment but she refused to be interviewed and claimed that she was not Angel’s mother. (Wenilyn B. Sabalo, USJ-R Intern)