“May batang umiiyak sa aming pinto, nagsalita po sa akin. Tulungan ko raw po siya,” says Bgy. Capt. Bobot Baldemor.
On December of 2008, several residents of Barangay Ibaba del Sur in Paete, Laguna experienced disturbing dreams.
“Parang ako’y ginugulo sa panaginip ko,” Letty says. “Wala akong nakita. Biglang sumanib siya sa akin.”
“Minsan, napanaginipan ko na nakatingin siya sa akin,” Francisco Afuang remembers.
But while they were terrified, they knew why the were having these dreams.
They child who were visiting them in their sleep was the victim of a gruesome murder.
|Re-enactment. Some residents of Bgy. Ibaba del Sur say that a child visited them in their dreams, crying and begging for help.
Around 9 p.m. of November 30, 2008, Francisco and his wife, Cecilia, were on their way to fetch their nine-year-old daughter, Nina Lisa, who was at her grandmother’s store. As Francisco and Cecilia were approaching the store, something happened.
“Nung papalapit na kami, may tumakbo na lalaki galing sa loob ng tindahan,” Francisco recalls. “Nakita ko ‘yung tindahan, may kaunting bukas ng pinto.”
Fear gripped the couple. They rushed to the store and were horrified by what they saw.
“Nakita kong duguan ‘yung anak ko,” Francisco says. “Napasigaw na lang ako at hinabol ko [‘yung lalaki], naiwan ‘yung misis ko.”
“Puro dugo,” Cecilia recalls. “Sa sigaw ko, napakalakas, nabulabog na ang mga tao. Nandun na ‘ko sa anak ko at ako’y nag-iiyak na.”
Immediately after they received word about the crime, the Paete Police resonded to the scene.
“Nung nagpunta kami dun, sabi ng mga tao, lumabas ang suspek dun,” on-case investigator PSI Walter Ebora says. “Ang ginawa namin, lahat nang makita namin dun na bystander, kung sinong pwede nating maimbitahan, inimbitahan natin sa presinto. Baka isa dun ay suspek.”
Meanwhile, Francisco went back to the store. “Ang ginawa ko, binuhat ko ang anak ko,” he says. “Hindi ko na alam, talagang ako ay hysteria na, hindi ko malaman bakit nagkaganun.”
Based on post-mortem examination, the victim sustained 14 stab wounds all over her body.
The authorities came back to the crime scene to search for more evidence. “Nakita namin ‘yung blood stain at kutsilyo,” PSI Ebora says. “Walang forcible entry, kaya speculations namin na kilala ng bata ‘yung suspek.”
They also discovered that four hundred pesos worth of cash were stolen from the Afuangs.
“Ang sabi ng magulang ng bata, may nawawalang pera sa tindahan,” PSI Ebora says. “Theory po namin, purely pagnanakaw ang intensyon.”
The authorities continued to search the crime scene and found a crucial evidence. “Sa damuhan malapit sa place of incident, meron kaming narecover na white t-shirt na 34 ‘yung niya niya,” PSI Ebora says. “May tatak sa harap na ‘Frame Surf’ tapos may number sa likod n ‘00’. Nakita namin ‘yung shirt na duguan.”
The had the blood-stained shirt examined and lab results confirmed that the blood was that of the nine-year-old victim.
|The victim. Based on post-mortem examination, nine-year-old Nina Lisa Afuang sustained 14 stab wounds.
“Ipinakita namin sa mga magulang ng bata ‘yung mga taong inimbitahan namin sa presinto, wala po silang na-identify sa mga tao,” PSI Ebora says. “Nag-imbestiga kami sa labas, nagtanong-tanong kami sa tao. Pero nung time na ‘yun, wala kaming nakuhang info kasi siguro takot pa sila.”
And that’s when the dreams began.
According to some of the neighbours of the Afuangs, nine-year-old Nina visited them in their dreams, begging for help. Seeking justice.
Because of those dreams, one by one, witnesses to the crime surfaced.
A tug in the conscience
According to “Letty”, one of the witnesses, she did not testify right away because she was afraid that the suspect might come back for her. But she changed her mind after she dreamt of Nina.
“Dahil sa panaginip na ‘yun, nagkaroon ako ng lakas ng loob na tumestigo,” Letty says. “Parang ako’y ginugulo sa panaginip ko. Biglang sumanib siya sa akin. Ipinakita niya sa’kin ‘yung kutsilyo at ‘yung mukha.”
Based on Letty’s sworn affidavit, on the evening of November 30, 2009, she saw a shirtless man outside the store of Nina’s grandmother.
“May pinupunasan siya sa likod ng katawan,” Letty says. “Malayo ako sa kanya pero kahit nakatalikod siya, kilala ko. Sabi ko, si Gudoy iyon ah. Parang kinabahan ako.”
Aside from Letty, two more witnesses surfaced.
According to “Pina”, she recognized the bloodied shirt that the authorities recovered from the crime scene.
“Nung fiesta sa amin, nakalaro ko siya sa tong-its,” she says. “’Yun ang damit niya, puti na ang manggas ay blue. Kasi bagong paligo siya noon, sabi ko ‘Aba, Gudyo, ang pogi ah’. Nung matapos ‘yung patayan diyan, para akong kinabahan. Sa loob ko, parang ganito ‘yung suot ni Gudoy nung kami ay mag-tong-its ah.”
Another witness, “Jun”, also recognized the shirt. “Nung makita ko ‘yung t-shirt na may bahid ng dugo, parang nakilala ko kung sino ang may-ari nun,” he says. “Si Gudoy kasi lagi kong nakikitang suot niya ‘yun. Sa sabungan kasi nakakasama ko ‘yun.”
The authorities conducted a background check and discovered that Gudoy’s real name is Renadto Cadsawan.
The Afuangs were surprised when they received the information. Gudoy was a good friend of the family.
Justice for Nina
Renato “Gudoy” Cadsawan was charged with robbery with homicide at the Laguna Prosecutors office. The fiscal’s office also found sufficient basis to elevate the case to the courts. A warrant of arrest was issued.
Unfortunately, Gudoy has gone into hiding. And up to now, the authorities haven’t found Gudoy.
All the Afuangs could do is pray and hope that justice will be served for their little Nina.
“Gabi-gabi akong nananalangin na mabigyan ng hustisya ang anak ko,” Cecilia says. “Ayaw ko sa masamang paraan, basta mabigya ng hustisya ang aking anak, kung mahuli o sumuko ay ‘yung na lang ang aming ano sa aming anak na sumuko na ‘yung gumawa sa kanya.”
“Alam mo naman kung gaano ka namin kamahal ng mga kapatid mo,” Francisco says. “Araw-araw talagang ako ay umaasa. Lahat-lahat gagawin ko, makamit lang ang hustisyo sa anak ko.”
|Justice for Nina. The Afuang family continue to wait for the day justice will be served for nine-year-old Nina Lisa.