A FUMING Mayor Isko Moreno ordered the filing of charges against two men and a woman for dumping a 76-year-old person with disability (PWD) under a bridge.
Manila social welfare department chief Re Fugoso said the elderly woman identified as Lejicia Tan had undergone medical checkup and is now being taken cared of at the Luwalhati ng Maynila, the city’s Home for the Aged located at the Boystown Complex in Marikina.
The three suspects were identified as Emerita Decilio, 60, endor; tricycle driver Rogelio Espino, 53 and Ephraim Tan Yap, nephew of the elderly Tan who was rescued by a team sent by Manila social welfare department chief Re Fugoso on orders of the mayor, as soon as a netizen posted her picture on social media.
The victim was shown slumped on the gutter with her diaper exposed.
The suspects were brought to the mayor’s office by Manila Police District- Special Mayor’s Reaction Team (MPD-SMaRT) chief Maj. Jhun Ibay where they were interviewed by Moreno himself as to how the helpless and sick victim ended up being abandoned under the McArthur bridge in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
During Moreno’s inquiry, it was established that Yap contacted Decilio and gave her money to help him put his aunt in a missionary, saying he could no longer take care of her and that she had just gotten out of a hospital. Decilio claimed the missionary was full and all other government agencies she sought for help rejected her.
Fearing that Tan might die under her custody, she asked Espino to take the elderly and handed him a certain amount, so Espino boarded her in his tricycle and then got rid of her by leaving her under the said bridge.
A netizen saw her and posted her picture on social media to call the attention of authorities.
Moreno said he got upset over the blame tossing and hearing how Yap used his money to escape his responsibility, how Decilio also used money to get rid of the victim and how altogether, they did not seem bothered by what they have done.
“Nasaan ang puso nyo? Tatanda din kayo!,”Moreno said, and then directed his anger at the victim’s own nephew: “Ikaw, gusto mo ba pagtanda mo itapon ka ng anak mo sa me tabing ilog?,” as he praised the quick action taken by Fugoso in taking custody of the said elderly.
For her part, Fugoso said: “Hindi katanggap-tanggap ang ginawa nila kay Lola Lejicia Tan. Tayo nga, pinagdadasal natin na humaba ang buhay ng tatay at nanay natin, tapos may gagawa ng ganitong pag-abandona sa isang may edad na.”
Moreno directed Ibay to place the suspects under arrest and file all the necessary charges, including Abandonment of Person In Danger which is punishable under Article 275 of the Revised Penal Code, against them, as he urged the public to maintain the good Filipino tradition of taking care of the elderly members of the family, which he said is unique to our country.
“Bukod sa pananagutan sa batas, pagdating ng araw ay tatanda tayong lahat. Isang magandang kaugalian at ugali ng Pilipino ay malasakit sa tatay, nanay, lolo, lola o nakakatanda na patuloy nating pairalin…na naiiba sa buong mundo. Sa ibang bansa, nilalagay na lang sa pasilidad,” he said.
Moreno added: “Higit sa lahat, paalala ko.. may Diyos po. Dun, mananagot kayo pagdating ng araw. Maaring makalusot ka sa mata ng batas pero sa Diyos hindi dahil lahat nakikita niya.”
The mayor repeatedly thanked the netizens for keeping the city government informed about errant and illegal activities such as what happened to the elderly Tan.