Home Commentary The courageous child victims winning cases against abusers 

The courageous child victims winning cases against abusers 

There is great encouragement and inspiration in the true-life stories of the brave Filipino children who have fought back against abusers and made them answer for their crimes against them. 

Hundreds of children in the Preda children’s homes have been healed and found justice by winning convictions against their rapists and human traffickers. 

Thanks to the staff of the Preda therapeutic homes for sexually abused and trafficked children. They have cared for the children and healed and empowered them so they can testify without fear and embarrassment. 

It was never easy for a 12-year-old child (call her Maricel, not her real name) to accuse the live-in partner of her mother, Raymund Sison, of rape and sexual assault. 

But with the help of a caring grandmother and the dedicated municipal social worker of San Narciso, Zambales, Maricel won a great legal victory in the court of Judge Maribel Marianmo-Beltran in Iba, Zambales.

It all began when one day Maricel was feeling sickly and her mother brought her for a check-up. She was found to be six months pregnant. 

Then, Maricel revealed that Raymund Sison, the live-in partner of her mother, had been sexually abusing her for months. 

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He threatened her not to tell anyone, but now the truth was out. Her mother also told Maricel not to tell anyone. 

Then, Maricel went to live with her maternal grandmother and she, being a woman of conscience, brought Maricar to the municipal social worker in San Narciso. 

They went to the police and filed a case against Sison but he and her mother hid Maricel in Bataan likely to have an abortion. The social worker rescued her and brought her to the Preda Home for Girls in Subic.

There, Maricel and her unborn baby were protected from harm and abortion. At Preda, she shared her life story and found affirmation, support, help, and therapy. 

She safely delivered her baby whom she loves and cares for. She pursued her case and the dedicated provincial prosecutor, Fiscal Joe Mari Nacin, fought for justice for her in Iba, Zambales. 

Maricel took the witness stand and she testified courageously and clearly as she wanted justice and to protect her baby. Then she was reintegrated to her biological father but inexplicably he also sexually abused her. 

Maricar immediately reported the crime and her father was arrested and jailed. There, facing life in prison, he allegedly committed suicide. 

Maricel’s case against Raymund Sison prospered and she was believed by Judge Maribel Mariano-Beltran and the accused was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of child rape and justly sentenced by the judge to a long prison sentence. 

That was the eighth conviction of abusers by Preda Children for 2024. These brave children win an average of 20 cases every year against abusers and human traffickers most are sentenced to life in Prison. 

Maricel and her baby are strong and healthy and she is studying while living at the Preda home. At present, they have nowhere else to go and are hoping for a sponsor to continue the support for her and her baby, the beautiful Princess Amber. 

Here is another dramatic story of a nine-year old child (we will call her Ariela) betrayed by her mother and grandmother when she was sexually abused by her step-grandfather in the grandmother’s sari-sari store in Santa Cruz, Zambales. 

Young children, when supported and empowered, can have the resilience and courage to stand up for themselves and protest against being abused and convict their abusers. 

Ariela is one of those brave children. Her parents broke up when she was younger and when her mother took another live-in partner, she sent Uriel, then only seven years old, to live with her grandmother in Santa Cruz, Zambales with the latter’s live-in partner, Mr. Gerardo Guilaran. 

Ariela called him Daddy Uniko. When her grandmother Analiza went to the market, Daddy Uniko undressed Uriel and sexually abused her. 

This happened several times and Ariela was really scared. Gerardo Guilaran threatened Ariela, telling her that he would kill her step-sisters if she told anybody. 

Ariela complained to her grandmother about the abuse but was told to tell no one and keep it a secret. Her biological mother heard about it but she, too, did nothing and kept it a secret. 

These adults- the mother and grandmother of Ariela- just to get the financial support of the dominating male, allows him to sexually abuse a nine-year-old. 

They are traffickers and should be brought to justice. It seemed there was no hope for Ariela like thousands of child victims who are abused and have no one to trust and tell and nowhere to go to escape the abuse. 

Preda Foundation is open to accepting all abuse victims we just need to know about the abuse and we will rescue, protect, and heal the child.

Her father came to visit Ariela and took her to Jollibee with her relatives. There, she told the story of abuse and her father brought charges against Gerardo Guilaran. 

Ariela was referred to the protection and care of Preda’s home where she became stronger and overcame her fear. She was able to testify clearly in the court also of Judge Maribel Mariano-Beltran. 

Soon after, she was reintegrated into her mother. There, she was subjected to verbal and psychological abuse and forced to recant and withdraw her testimony. 

The abuser and the family of Ariela thought they had confounded the child, fooled the Preda social workers, and outsmarted the judge. But wise Judge Maribel Mariano-Beltran was having none of it. 

She reviewed and upheld the original testimony of Ariela and her abuser Gerardo Guilaran, having no defense but denial. 

He was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in April 2024 and was sentenced to several years in prison. Justice was surely done and Ariela had won her case, the ninth victory for 2024 by the courageous Preda Children. 

Irish Father Shay Cullen, SSC, established the Preda Foundation in Olongapo City in 1974 to promote human rights and the rights of children, especially victims of sex abuse. The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of LiCAS.news.

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