Wednesday, April 01, 2009

ALS@SVD Student Killed

Reported by Fr. Randolf C. Flores, SVD
Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City, Philippines

OLIVER SARABIA, 26, our student in the Alternative Learning Sysem (ALS) at the SVD Dispensary, was shot and killed five nights ago, 28 March 2009 at 10:30 pm.

Before the time of the killing, Oliver saw his younger brother, Banong, also our ALS student, inside a house in Mag-Asawang Ilat (barrio of Tagaytay where our seminary partly belongs) with a companion who was drunk.

Since Banong had not gone home for more than one week, he told his brother to go home. The companion, named Primo, was irked at Oliver’s words and told the latter, “Huwag mong paki-alaman nyan, ako ang nagpapalamon sa kanya” ("Leave him alone. It’s I who feed him"). Banong had stayed with Primo as his errand boy.

Some said Primo was maltreating Banong (“binubugbog”), who is a mentally challenged person.

There seemed to be a heated argument between Oliver and Primo but calmed down after sometime and even had shook hands afterwards. But Primo went out, got his gun, and shot Oliver four times, killing him on the spot.

The suspect ran away but was apprehended by the police in Buho, Silang, Cavite. Primo claimed to be an Army soldier discharged from duty due to a pending case, possessing a lic ensed firearm (45 caliber), a caretaker of a resthouse in Mag-asawang-Ilat, and earns his living from training dogs.

Our instructional managers (the term we use for “teachers” in ALS) spoke good of Oliver who came to class diligently. Being the eldest, he had big dreams to help his seven brothers and sisters. His father, a construction worker, had asked him to stop going to formal school to work with him to help the family. His other sister, Lea Sarabia, 17, is also our student in ALS. The mother is Auring, half-sister of Susan (our employee), who
sometimes comes up to the seminary to do the nails of our employees.

Oliver, whose “second-hand” coffin was donated by Sacred Parish in Kamuning—thanks to Fr. Abe Paz, SVD—will be buried on Palm/Passion Sunday, 5 April 2009.

Olive Tolentino, one of our instructional managers, on the death of our student, made this theological remark: “Oliver had felt what is to be loved and cared for by teachers and fellow-students, even only for a month.”



ALS Learner’s Profile


Address : Purok 89, Mag-asawang Ilat, Tagaytay City

Date of Birth : September 23, 1983

Place of Birth : Silang, Cavite

Civil Status : Single

Occupation : construction worker

Religion : Roman Catholic

Language/s spoken: Filipino (Tagalog)

Name of Father : Joel Sarabia

Occupation : farmer

Name of Mother : Aurelia Sarabia

Occupation : housewife

Monthly Income : P3,000.00

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