Mother of torching victim wants life term for suspect

THE grieving mother of a three-year-old girl, who was doused by her father with kerosene and then set on fire, wants the suspect to be in prison for the rest of his life.

Sadness, rage and regret — these are the emotions felt by 24-year-old Mary Cris Oriana after she learned that her daughter died in a fire incident set by her ex-partner.

Oriana said she did not expect it to happen to her daughter since she thought the suspect loves the child that’s why he wanted the victim under his custody.

Sasa Police Station identified the suspect as Randy Nueva Cadiente, 44, a construction worker. The victim was identified as Rhea Mae Sandy or Inday, both residents of Panacan.

"I had the child since the suspect and I separated last 2016. But I left her for the meantime to a relative because I needed to work for us," Oriana told SunStar Davao in vernacular.

She narrated that her daughter was in a good state before the suspect took her. She said they attempted to take her back but Randy kept on transferring to another place.

"I heard that Inday was maltreated not only by her father, but also by her father’s then live-in partner, that’s why I wanted to take her back. But we couldn’t find them already," she added.

Oriana revealed that the suspect confessed to her earlier that he had been using and selling illegal drugs, but stopped the illegal activity before they decided to live together and had a child.

"But all his gestures before were fake. He was just pretending to be good. We left him because most of the time he would beat me every time he arrives home drunk," she said.

Oriana said she cannot yet find forgiveness in her heart because what the suspect did to their daughter is unforgivable. She added that she even wanted the suspect to suffer.

Social worker Demie Sarmiento of the Davao City Social Services and Development Office – Quick Response Team for Children’s Concerns (CSSDO-QRTCC), in a separate interview, said they are now working on the memorial of the child.

"We will transfer the wake of the child to Davao del Sur, where the mother is currently residing, Thursday. This is also the request of the mother, because they are planning to hold the interment four days from now," Sarmiento said.

Sarmiento urged the public to report immediately to them any incident they see a child being maltreated so that they can act on it. She said the office was also startled by what happened, as no one ever told them about the child’s state.

The Sasa police station, on the other hand, has already filed a parricide case before the Davao City Prosecution Office (CPO) on Tuesday afternoon. The suspect was brought before the Prosecution Office for the inquest proceedings.
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