Family Wants Truth Behind Pinay’s Death in US

2015-0725 Family Wants Truth Behind Pinay's Death in US

Romina Vanessa Ignacio/Photo grabbed from her Facebook page

MANILA – A 25-year old Filipina who left for work in the United States just three months ago came home in a coffin.

“Gusto po niyang mag pursue ng further study…gusto niya mag doctorate,” said Romina Vanessa Ignacio’s mother, Minerva.

Romina, a physical therapist in Hutchinson, Kansas was found dead inside her apartment on June 27.

She allegedly committed suicide but members of her family, especially her mother, think otherwise.

“Ako po nagpalaki dyan. Alam ko pong hindi niya kayang gawin yun. Marami po siyang pangarap kaya nagsikap siyang maipasa lahat exams na kailangan niyang ipasa para makapagtrabaho doon,” Minerva said in an interview with DZMM earlier this week.

She was told that there was no indication of forced entry at her daughter’s place.

“Nakita po siya sa bathtub na hawak daw po yung knife. Meron siyang wound sa neck at chest,” she said.

Romina’s remains arrived home last Saturday. Her family decided to have her remains re-autopsied by the National Bureau of Investigation “kasi hindi ako kumbinsido sa findings”.

“Parang initial pa lang po ang sabi po [ng NBI] multiple stabwounds,” said Minerva.

Her daughter left the Philippines for the US on March 15. According to her mother, her first assignment was in Manhattan, Kansas. After two months, she was transferred to Hutchinson.

It was mother’s instinct that warned her that something wasn’t right. She last spoke to her on June 26.

“Morning and evening nakakausap ko siya. Minsan, habang nagda-drive siya on her way to the facility nagusuap po kami,” Minerva said.

She got worried when she did not get the usual message from her daughter informing her that she was already home.

“Yan pong batang yan, upon arrival sa apartment, mag me-message yan na ‘Ma, apartment na ko’. Wala po akong na receive na message so ang ginawa ko po tinawagan ko yung dalawang cellphone niya. Nagre-ring pero walang sumasagot. Bilang mother, nag worry ako,” Minerva said.

She got in touch with a family friend who lives in Texas, who then called Romina’s landlord to check on her.

“June 27, Philippine time, tinawagan yung family friend ko na wala na daw po anak ko,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Blas F. Ople Policy Center called on the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Justice “to conduct a joint inquiry to ascertain the facts given the bereaved family’s suspicion that there was foul play involved in Romina’s death”.

“Based on the mother’s account, Romina was found by US police authorities with stab wounds in her neck and near her heart, as well as superficial wounds in the abdomen, while inside a bath tub, still wearing her clothes and flip-flops,” Susan Ople, head of the Ople Center said.

She added, “How can someone with a medical background and with such strong, loving ties to the family choose to kill herself in that manner?”

A wake is still being held at the Ignacio family’s home in Cavite. The family hopes that the government would help them determine Romina’s real cause of death.

“Ang gusto ko lang malaman kung ano tunay na nangyari sa kanya. Bilang nanay, alam ko na di niya kayang gawin yun,” Minerva said. Reports from Henry Atuelan, DZMM




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