A deaf-mute girl becomes the victim of a heinous crime after a man takes advantage of her disability.
Luz Valencia and her husband, Librado, always dreamed of having children. Unfortunately, after seven years of marriage, they were never even blessed with one. So they decided to adopt a daughter.
They named her Carmela Paula Valencia.
The moment Carmela came into their lives, more blessings came. Luz bore children. At the same time, their junk shop business boomed.
But when Paula reached the age of three, Luz and her husband noticed something different about her.
“Walang salita, puro tawa-tawa lang,” she said. “Malakas naman umiyak. [Pero] hindi nagsasalita. Tapos akala ko late lang 'yung pagsasalita pero dinala ko pa rin sa ospital. Tapos sabi nila, 'yung dila niya hindi malayang nakakalabas. Kaya ang ginawa nila, inoperahan 'yun. Wala pa rin.”
Paula, as it turned out, was deaf and mute.
Because of her condition, Paula was given special treatment at home.
“Sabi ko, kawawa siya. Kaya minahal namin siya, lahat kami,” Luz said. “Sabi ko, ‘pag nagkakamali siya, pagpasensyahan na lang kasi iba ‘yung isip niya, hindi natin ka-isip.”
But because of this special treatment, Paula developed an attitude.
“Na-spoil ‘yung bata kasi puro siya na lang,” Luz said. “Na-barkada siya. ‘Yung barkada niya ‘yung mga babaeng gala-gala lang, ayun ayaw na mag-aral. Matigas ang ulo. Kapag gusto niya, gusto niya. Tapos nung bandang huli, pati gabi gumagala siya.”
Little did they know that this would lead Paula to danger.
Special love. Because she was deaf-mute, Carmela Paula Valencia received special treatment from her parents.
On the night of February 22, 2012, Paula left their home around 7:00 p.m.
“Nagpaalam ‘yan sa’kin kasi nga, magpi-piyesta ng bayan,” Luz recalled. “Sabi niya, pupunta ng bayan, babalik din. Pinayagan ko naman.”
Luz stayed up to wait for Paula. But their daughter did not come home. So she assumed that Paula slept over at her friend’s place like she always did.
But the next morning, Paula was still nowhere to be found.
The search for Paula
That very same day, the Tarlac Police received information that a dead body had been found in Barangay Santo Kristo.
“Pumunta po kami dun sa area, nakita nga namin na merong isang bangkay na nakahandusay sa palayan dun sa mga 20 meterse more or less from the highway,” Police Superintendent Joyce Patrick Sanglang, Chief of the Concepcion, Tarlac PNP, said.
“Nakita natin na meron siyang tama ng bato sa ulo. ‘Yung bato po doon sa katabi mismo ng biktima ay puno ng dugo. So initially, ‘yun ang nakita ng imbestigador natin na pwedeng magamit o ginamit na pampatay dun sa ating biktima.”
Worse, there were telltale signs that the victim had been raped.
“Walang pang-ibaba pati ‘yung panty po niya, hindi suot-suot,” Sanglang said. “Ang teorya po namin nung una, posibleng hinalay po ‘yung biktima dahil po sa kundisyon at posibleng nanlaban o kakilala niya ‘yung nanghalay kaya siya pinatay.”
They also recovered other pieces of evidence at the crime scene.
“Meron po kaming nakuha dun na maliban po dun sa biktima, ‘yung underwear ng lalaki atsaka babae,” Sanglang said. “Meron po kaming nakuhang isang pares ng tsinelas ng lalaki. Meron kaming nakuhang isang kaha ng sigarilyo, isang posporo.”
They also recovered the victim’s wallet. And through the wallet, they discovered the identity of the victim.
The girl who was raped and brutally murdered was Paula.
|The crime scene.
That fateful night
The authorities informed Paula’s parents right away. The shock and devastation sent Luz reeling.
“Sabi ko nga, akala ko sa TV lang nangyayari ‘yung ganun,” she said. “Maganda si Paula, parang bumbay, pero nung nakita ko ‘yung ulo, parang napantay na ata dito. Nakita ko naka-benda na ‘yung ulo, binalot na nila. Tapos ‘yung mukha niya, ‘yung ilong niya, nabali, tapos matangos ‘yung ilong, nilagyan na lang ng bulak. Karumal-dumal naman ‘yung ginawa niya. Ang sakit. Kawawa ‘yung bata.”
Base on post-mortem examination, Paula died due to traumatic injuries to the head. Results also confirmed that Paula was raped.
In order to trace the perpetrator, the authorities formed Task Force Carmela, which quickly found leads.
“May nakapagsabi po na ‘yung biktima ay huling nakita sa isang tindahan dito sa may palengke namin at meron nga siyang kasamang lalaki, so pinuntahan po namin. Nagbigay po ng statement ‘yung ating witness,” Sanglang said.
According to the witness, George (not his real name), at around 10 pm on February 22, Paula was drinking a few rounds of beer with a man in front of their sari-sari store.
After finishing their drinks, Paula left with the man. The man’s face was familiar to George but he did not know his name.
“Sumama si Paula. ‘Yung lalaki, kinuha ‘yung sasakyan niya sa harap ng tindahan, ‘yung tri-bike na pang bakal-bote,” George recalled.
“Nakita kong sumakay si Paula dun atsaka ‘yung lalaki at umalis patungo sa direksyon na itinuturo nila sa isang barangay.”
They traced the route that the tri-bike took, which led them to another sari-sari store.
There, they were able to talk to another witness. Linda (not her real name) recounted what she witnessed that night.
“Umorder sila ng alak. Nalaman ko na pipi ‘yung babae kasi nag-senyasan lang sila. Tatlong bote po naubos nung pipi, ‘yung lalaki dalawa,” she said.
“Dahil nga lasing na, ‘yung babae, susuray-suray na. Nagbayad na ‘yung lalaki. Binuhat niya ‘yung babae at isinakay sa tri-bike.”
After talking to the two witnesses, the authorities deduced that, somehow, the suspect knew the victim’s family. The suspect drove a tri-bike which was used to trade scrap metal. Trading scrap metal was the Valencia family’s business.
Tracking the perpetrator
With this information, they began searching for a man whose profile fit the witnesses’ description.
“Lalaki na height is more or less 5'4" to 5'5", medyo matipuno ang katawan, ang edad ay hindi bumababa sa 45 up to 50 years old. May bigote,” Sanglang said.
“Lahat po ng mga suspek na tumutugma ay amin pong inimbitahan [para makita ng mga saksi].”
But the witnesses didn’t see the suspect in the lineup. The authorities did not give up. Until one day, they received a tip from a caller. He identified the suspect as a one Danilo Cawigan.
“'Yung atin pong suspek ay mayroong 12 anak. Ang trabaho po niya ay nangangalakal, bumibili at nagbebenta ng mga junk materials,” Sanglang said
“Nung una talaga, hindi niya inaamin ‘yung nangyari nung araw na ‘yun.”
Eventually, though, he confessed to the crime.
“Ang sabi po niya dun sa initial confession sa harap ng kanyang abugado ay natukso lang daw po siya at dala ng kalasingan kaya nagawa ‘yung krimen,” Sanglang said.
“Nung tinanong namin bakit kailangan pa niyang patayin ‘yung victim, ang nasabi po niya eh wala raw siya sa sariling katinuan nung magawa niya ‘yun.”
Danilo was charged with rape with homicide at the Tarlac Provincial Prosecutor’s Office. Provincial Prosecutor Aladin Bermidez, Jr. found probable cause to elevate the case to the court.
Danilo is currently detained at the Tarlac Provincial Jail. ABS-CBN SOCO visited him for an interview where he told his version of what happened that night.
Danilo admitted that he and Paula consumed a lot of liquor that night of February 22. But according to him, it was Paula who made the first move and led him to the area where the crime took place.
“Nagulat na lang ako sa inasal niya,” Danilo says. “Bigla na lang naghubad at nais nitong makipagtalik.”
But because he was drunk, Danilo says he refused, and that’s when Paula began making noise. Danilo says he covered her mouth but Paula bit him. He was enraged and began hitting him on the head. He didn’t stop until Paula stopped breathing.
Danilo says he regrets what he did.
But no amount of regret could appease Luz’s anger over the death of her daughter.
“Talagang dun ako nasaktan,” Luz says. “Isipin mo, pipi na siya, bingi, babae lang tapos ginawan ng ganun, bakit pinatay pa? Hangga't [buhay ako], ipaglalaban ko ‘yung nangyari sa kanya."
Aired on June 1, 2012