The Filipina tourist who was drugged and jumped from a fly-over in Malaysia is finally safe according to the compassionate Filipinos who helped her. Melissa Khor, is one of the four OFWs who assisted April Mencho Botacion pay her hospital bills and take her to a safe place last June 13.
“Kahapon pumunta kami sa ospital, hindi para makialam sa case, pumunta kami sa ospital para lang dalawin ang pasyente. Pagdating namin dun kinausap kami ng doctor at nars na may hawak sa case ni April. Ang pagkakasabi niya ay ididischarge na si April. So ang sinabi namin wala kami kinalaman sa case ni April, dumadalaw lang (bilang kababayan). Ang balik tanong sa amin ng staff ay papaano po yung bill niya?”
(Yesterday we went to the hospital not to intervene with the case, we went to the hospital just to visit the patient. When we arrived there we talked to the doctor and nurse in charge of April’s case. They told us is that she’s going to be discharged. We said we are just visiting April (as our fellow countrymen). The staff then asked us who is going to take care of her bill.)
Photos Courtesy of Melissa Khor
The group comprised of Dennis Miguel, Netsky Bueno, Donna Tango and Melissa Khor thought of calling the Philippine Embassy to seek for assistance, but they were allegedly passed around. According to Melissa:
“Si April Botacion ay isang Pilipino kaya (naisip namin) na ilapit sa Philippine Embassy ang case. Pagtawag namin sa Philippine Embassy ay magca-callback daw sila. Tumagal kami ng almost an hour sa sinasabi nilang pag-callback nila walang nag-callback… sa huling taong nakausap namin ang sagot sa amin ay ‘Kung may magagawan po kayong paraan e kayo na po ang (tumulong) kasi kung idadaan pa po yan sa proseso ng Embassy ay matatagalan.'”
(April Botacion is a Filipino so (we thought) of forwarding the case to the Philippine Embassy. When we called the Philippine Embassy they told us that they will call us back. We waited for almost an hour for their callback but there was no callback… the last person we spoke to said ‘If there’s anything you can do now, you can go ahead and help her because if you’re going to undego the process from the Embassy it will take a long time.)
The group decided to chip in to pay for her expenses, however their next issue is where to take her once she’s out of the hospital. Melissa said:
“Saan namin siya dadalhin? So ako naman ang alam ko ang Philippine Embassy ay may shelter for Filipinos who need help. So tinawag namin sa Embassy, sige po kami na po ang (sasagot) sa bill nia, ang pinoproblema lang po namin is saan namin dadalhin ang bata. Ang tanong ng isang kasama namin is pwede po ba namin dalhin sa shelter? Ang sagot ba naman sa amin isa sa officer ng Embassy ‘Hindi po siya pwede sa shelter kasi hindi naman po siya OFW’.”
(Where are we going to bring her? For me, I know that the Philippine Embassy has a shelter for Filipinos who need help. So we called the Embassy telling them that okay we will shoulder the bill, our problem now is where are we going to bring her. My companion asked if we can bring her to the shelter? The officer from the Embassy told us ‘She can’t stay in the shelter because she is not an OFW.)
Another thing that irked the group is that somebody was soliciting funds for April. When the group called April’s Australian boyfriend in the Philippines, he mentioned that there’s someone raising money for April by the name of “Nick”, a Swedish guy. When they contacted Nick, he said he will call them back. When he did called back he was already using a private number. The group then asked about the money he raised for April, when the guy found out that April was already taken out of the hospital, Nick was suddenly unreachable.
“Sa sitwasyon nung babae, nagawa pa nilang gamitin ang kalagayan niya (April) para sa pangsarili nilang gain. Gusto ko lang ma-clear (na hindi totoo) yung mga taong nagre-raise ng funds. Okay lang sana kung napupunta sa bata e.”
(They used her (April) state for their own gain. I just want to clear (it’s fake) the people who are raising funds. It would’ve been okay if the funds were going to the girl.)
Melissa denied the reports that April inflicted serious injuries. There were no major fractures or injuries. The doctors even call her the “miracle girl”. But she was taken back to the hospital on the eve of June 13 due to bladder bloating. When asked if April was indeed drugged, Melissa confirmed the reports and stated that according to the hospital findings she is positive on the drug test:
“Tinanong ko yung doctor talaga kung si April ba ay victim or drug user. Sabi niya ang level ng drugs sa katawan niya ay Level 1, which means na naging biktima lang talaga siya.”
(I asked the doctor if April is a victim or a drug user. The doctor told us that the level of drugs in her body is Level 1, which means she’s just a victim.)
However, Melissa felt bad that despite their efforts to help out the victim, some people are taking credits for their deeds:
“Hindi namin kinukuha ang credit sa pagtutulong kay April. Ngayon kung talaga namang may nagawa ang Embassy, wala naman problema na ibigay sa kanila lahat ng credit. Kaya lang ang problema dun ay kaming lahat ay napahiya sa paglapit namin sa kanila. Hindi ba napakasakit sa part namin na wala na nga kaming natanggap na thank you sa Embassy e krinedit pa nila sa sarili nila na sila ang gumawa. Nasa akin po ang lahat ng mga pinirmahang dokumento ng batang yan mula sa binayaran hanggang sa naipasok uli sa ospital hanggang sa paglabas uli sa ospital.”
(We are not claiming the credit for helping April. Now, if the Embassy indeed did something, there is no problem giving all the credits to them. The problem is we were all humiliated by approaching to them. Isn’t it painful for our part that we didn’t even receive a thank you from the Embassy and yet they took all the credits that they did something. All the signed documents by April is with me, from the payment (of the hospital bills) until she was taken back to the hospital until she was discharged again from the hospital.)
The group did not disclose where April is staying now. However, they assured us that she is now in a safe place and will be going back to the Philippines soon.