MANILA, Philippines -- A 7-month pregnant woman is now suffering from trauma after being ruthlessly beaten with a hammer and scorched with a hot iron by his own boyfriend, who is also the father of her baby.
The victim, "Marites" (not her real name), said Alex Reyes assaulted her inside her house on Monday, a month after she ended their relationship.
She said Reyes did not like her decision. She also said Reyes, who happens to be a married man, did not want anyone to know that he got her pregnant.
Marites said she started receiving threats from Reyes after she said she wanted to break up with him months ago. She said she only had the chance to leave Reyes last month.
"Dati pa po talaga ko nakikipagtalo sa kanya. Ayaw niya po pumayag. Pinagbabantaan niya ko, 'Guguluhin ko ang buhay mo. Akin ka lang. Bawal ka kumalas.' Ganun po 'yung sinasabi niya everytime na makikipaghiwalay ako sa kanya," Marites told radio dzMM Friday.
She said she was surprised that Reyes suddenly showed up at her house on Monday, saying he was sorry for what he did.
"Bale nung Monday po 'di ko po alam na pupunta siya sa bahay namin... Nagsosorry po siya, nakikipagayos siya," she said.
But Marites still refused to reunite with Reyes, which angered him.
Marites said Reyes hit her on the head with a hammer, causing blood vessels in her eyes to burst.
While lying unconscious, Reyes then scorched different parts of her body, including her private parts, with a hot iron.
She said Reyes poured kerosene on her and then set the house on fire before leaving.
"Actually nung pinaso niya ko ng plantsa, wala na po akong malay nun. Nung nagkamalay na ko dun ko na po naramdaman 'yung init, 'yung hapdi ng katawan ko," Marites said.
"Nung nagkamalay-tao tao na ko, naramdaman ko pong binubuhusan niya ko ng kerosene. Tapos 'yun po, iniwan niya nang nasusunog 'yung bahay namin," she added.
Reyes was later arrested by authorities after neighbors of Marites saw him leaving the house and carrying a container of kerosene.
'Leave abusive men' -- lawyer
Also speaking with radio dzMM, Atty. Persida Rueda-Acosta, chief of Public Attorney's Office, said Reyes may face 6 up to 10 years in prison for violating Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women Law.
"May basic relationship kasi sila eh, mag-boyfriend girlfriend. Kahit 'di kasal ay pwede pa ring makasuhan," she said.
Acosta also said many women like Marites suffer from abusive partners mainly because of the country's patriarchal culture.
"Kasi 'yung patriarchal system, akala ng mga lalake parang alipin nila ang babae. Pag umibig sa kanila o kaya nagkaanak sila, para bang ang babae eh masahol pa sa hayop ang trato nila. Ang tingin kasi nila sa ating mga kababaihan ay mahina," she said.
She said one thing women could do to prevent such cases is to leave their partners once they start abusing them.
"Kaya nga ang payo natin, oras na sinasaktan na sila eh makipaghiwalay na agad kaysa...mapatay pa sila," Acosta said.