“NAHADLOK man ko niya (I got scared of him).”
This was what 10-year-old Maria (not her real name) said when she was asked why she didn’t shout for help when her uncle raped her in her home in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City.
John (real name withheld), 20, escaped when Maria’s older sister ratted him out to her father and aunts.
Maria said that John molested her on March 14 and May 8.
She remembered the date effortlessly and cried when she told her story.
Her father was by her side, clenching his fists to control his rage, his eyes red with tears.
On March 14, the suspect allegedly asked her to perform oral sex on him, which she refused by running away.
It was on a Sunday night, May 8, that he managed to force himself on her.
While Maria was preparing to sleep, John went inside the house.
Scared, she feigned sleep and was alarmed when the suspect turned the lights off.
The second the lights went out, the suspect violated her.
She then ran away from home and John chased after her, threatening to kill her when she told anyone.
When she was still seven, Maria said, she also experienced sexual abuses from her grandfather and John’s older brother.
The grandfather and John’s older brother are now detained at the Mandaue City Jail serving a sentence for robbery, not for rape, as Maria only told her parents of the recent sexual abuse.
She said that she couldn’t remember how many times she was molested by her grandfather and her other uncle.
“Nakalimot naman ko kay puli-pulihan raman ko nila (I already forgot because they would just take turns,)” she said, in tears.
The victim’s aunt was horrified when Maria’s sister told her what happened.
“Mao gani nga nigaan-gaan mi nga nangapriso natong mga yawa, naa man sad diay nipuli (We thought that our burden was lessened when the two devils were imprisoned but John took their place),” Maria’s aunt said.
The girl’s father, who works as a garbage collector, wants the suspects to be hanged, supporting the plan of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to impose death penalty by hanging.
He said he is afraid for the safety of his children, who are all girls.
“Maayo na silang bitayon (They all deserve to be hanged),” he said while wiping his tears.
Maria’s father and the other members of the family were all in the hospital when the crime happened as the victim’s mother had a difficult labor.
Chief Insp. Wildemar Tiu, chief of the Mabolo Police Station, said that he coordinated with the Women and Children’s Desk of his station to take care of Maria’s plight.
Maria already underwent a series of psychological and trauma assessment tests, said PO1 Hannah Marie Batulan.
The Mabolo police will file rape complaints against John as soon as Maria’s affidavit is signed. Her grandfather and her other uncle will also be included in the complaint.