When I heard the news about what happened to Rochel Geronda, a 14-year-old student from Los Baños National High School and a sampaguita vendor, the first thing that came to my mind was my eldest daughter, Andria, who is 12 years old and also a student in Los Baños. Once I read it from my mobile phone, I told my husband while we were having dinner just in front of the school Rochel attended. My husband was so affected, and he couldn’t comprehend why it happened. A 14-year-old girl with so much life and a bright future ahead was brutally raped and killed by low-life sex maniacs.
I remember how things were last year, when I did a report on Given Grace, a student from University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Laguna (UPLB). There was a vigil for days, and lots of media attention, most likely because she was a student from a prominent school. Now, with a story from my Victory Christian Fellowship (VCF) groupmate Dewmaine, I feel sorry for not only for Rochel but for all the women and daughters in the world. This is especially distressing now since March is International Women’s Month.
So what’s this about sex and killing innocent children? I enjoy sex, and yes, it’s literally productive: I have twin daughters, and I don’t want what happened to Given Grace and Rochel to happen to them. Is it fulfilling for some men, or does it give them more joy and earthly greed, when they rape and kill children? In the interest of transparency and human rights, I would like to know if this is also about poverty: do men who can’t afford to pay prostitutes resort to kidnapping, rape and murder? There’s also the question too of their being high on illegal drugs, because nobody in his right mind could do such beastly things.
I support the death penalty as a deterrent for people who think they are God. And for now, I will stay this way, working on awareness programs so that I can help do something different in my own little way. I want to be a force for positive change. If lots of stalkers, haters and critics will arise, I don’t care. I prefer to stay this way.
I observe as well that the news focuses more on crimes with high-profile affiliations, like student hazings from prominent schools or the Iskolar ng Bayan who was recently killed. I support justice, but let us not forget that Rochel was not just a minor detail. I checked the news online, and I attended events: the recent crime from Los Baños about a UPLB student got more media attention than a 14-year-old kid who got raped and killed just a week before. The suspects for this UPLB student are in custody with a P350,000 reward for their capture. I wonder why the reward for Rochel’s killers was smaller.
Am I the only one who could see the discrimination in affiliation? I want people to have equal rights. This is a month when we celebrate and acknowledge the importance of women in our life and society. I just hope that local government units will do more to solve all cases, and not only those that might make them look good for the next election season. I want justice for Rochel, and justice for all women.
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