Alcaraz and US Citizen David Fillion were arrested for the murder last September 17, 2008. During the interrogation, Alcaraz was forced to confess, under duress, to the murder. Fillion was subsequently released on September 19, 2008. Then, sometime in October 2008, Alcaraz was sentenced to die by firing squad by the lower court of Taiwan. After that, Alcaraz filed an appeal before the Appellate Court of Taiwan.
Martinez said that Alcaraz appeared during the first day of hearing in the Appellate Court without a lawyer. The last letter that Alcaraz sent to her family says, “Nagtrial ako noong April 1st pero di dumating ang MECO pati na ang mga lawyers ko di sumipot. Sabi ng judge, may memo daw na sinasabing busy ang lawyer ko,” (Representatives from MECO and my lawyer did not appear before the court last April 1. According to the judge, they received a memo stating that her lawyer was busy.)
Martinez added that they were surprised to learn that Congresswoman Maria Evita Arago of the 3rd district of Laguna is regularly being summoned by MECO to their office. The MECO also regularly sends her to Taiwan.
Martinez said that after Arago’s recent trip to Taiwan last April 2009, she approached the Alcaraz family and told them not to talk about her case to the media because the Philippine government is already doing all the necessary means to save her life.
“Pero nasaksihan nila (ng pamilya ni Alcaraz) si (Jennifer) Beduya. At sinabihan na sila (ang mga anak) nito (ng tatay ni Beduya) na kapag sinabihan kayo ng gobyerno na tumahimik eh wag kayong tumahimik. Nanahimik ako, pugot ang ulo ng anak ko,” (But they witnessed what happened to Jennifer Beduya. And the father of Beduya told the children of Alcaraz not to keep quiet even if the government says so. The father of Beduya said that he kept quiet about his son’s case and his son was beheaded eventually.) Martinez said.
Jennifer Beduya was an overseas Filipino worker in Jeddah who was beheaded last October 14, 2008 after he killed the Arabian who tried to rape her. The Department of Foreign Affairs pledged to the Beduya family that Jennifer would be given full legal assistance. The family was surprised to hear later that he did not have a lawyer during the hearings. .
Calling for the Church’s succor
Martinez said the family of Alcaraz have already the sought the assistance of elected officials like Senator Manny Villar and Vice President Noli de Castro. “Follow-up na lang kayo. Tawag na lang kayo,” (Just follow us up. Just call us.) was the usual reply they received.
So this time, Migrante International and the Alcaraz family sought the assistance of the Church. “Naniniwala pa rin kami at ang pamilya na ang simbahan ay may malaking maitutulong sa kampanya nitong pagliligtas ng buhay niya,” (Migrante International and the family believe that the Church could be a big help to the campaign to save the life of Alcaraz.)
A day before the Appellate Court of Taiwan would hand down its verdict on May 4, Migrante International and the family of Alcaraz would hold a prayer rally to save the life of Cecilia.
“Habang si Pacquiao ay nakikipagsuntukan kay Hatton, kami naman ay makikipagsuntukan para sa buhay ni Cecilia,” (While Pacquiao boxes with Hatton, we would be boxing for the life of Cecilia.)
“Palagay nga na may ginagawa talaga ang mahal na pangulo natin, pero hindi pa sapat,” (Granting that our beloved president is doing something [to save the life of Cecilia], still it is not enough,) Jerome said.(Bulatlat.com)