Deaf group shows support for rape-slay victim

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 17 2011 02:12 PM | Updated as of Jun 17 2011 10:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Cebu Association of the Deaf trooped to Lapu-Lapu City Police Station in Cebu on Friday upon learning of the arrest of the rapists and murderers of 17-year-old deaf-mute Cherame Gitgano.

The group went to the police station to show their condemnation for the brutal act.

The three suspects, Fiel Pinote, Renante Limpangog and LG Mesa, were arrested Thursday after being identified by a witness.

Another man, believed to the crime’s mastermind, is still at large.

The group’s representative Janice Appari said they are sympathizing with Gitgano’s family, whose members are still suffering from the traumatic event.

“We want justice for Cherame,” Appari said through an interpreter. “We want for the abuses against deaf people to end.”

Appari added that parents of deaf and mute people should show support for the children by sending them to sign language schools.

The group also met with Cherame’s parents during the victim’s wake.

Cherame’s father Rolando Gitgano became emotional upon seeing the group, saying that he remembers his daughter who is also using sign language.

“It was hard for me to see my daughter in such a horrible state, with her eyes sticking out and other parts of her face deformed,” Gitgano said in vernacular.

Meanwhile, JP Juanes of the Gualandi Volunteers Service Program (GVSP), said the group is doing all it can to support the deaf community by empowering them through self-defense classes. -- Report from Carine Asutialla, ABS-CBN Central Visayas