MANILA, Philippines – Far from her first reaction to her husband’s death, Juvy Diaz, the widow of 45-year-old SPO1 Orlando Diaz, is now calm and composed.
Orlando was the security officer of the late Congressman Rodel Batocabe. He and the lawmaker were killed in an ambush in Daraga, Albay on Saturday afternoon, December 22.
“My kids and I were hysterical when we learned of his death,” said the 45-year-old public school teacher.
“In hindsight, my heart suddenly pounded hard and erratic on Saturday morning while talking to my husband. We mistook it for a symptom of a heart disease. So Orly told me to see a doctor and make sure to be healthy because our young children need us,” she said.
Juvy said her husband then cupped her face and looked at her with utmost sincerity before leaving for duty.
Strange as it was, he returned to do that again without them knowing that would be their last intimate time together.
A family-oriented man
Juvy described Orly as a responsible and loving husband and father. He’s not perfect, but he’s the type that you won’t ask for more, she said.
“Bahay-trabaho, trabaho-bahay lang ‘yang asawa ko (It was just work and home for my husband.),” she said.
Juvy added that when he was off duty, Orly would fetch her at school and spend quality family time – from joining Zumba events with her, karaoke singing with the children, bringing her and their teens to the Christmas party of Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG) every time, down to small fatherly acts like cutting down the nails of their children.
Even if he’s on duty, he would find the time to ask about their children.
According to Juvy, her co-teachers had told her of his good traits when he was alive.
‘Family is life’
Hannah Tricia, their eldest, has acquired many of his traits.
“She’s a bit boyish and into music,” Juvy said.
But just like other teenagers, she had her misunderstandings with father too. According to Hannah, her father didn’t want her to go to places without his knowledge.
She recalled there was an instance he beat her with a hanger.
“I didn’t talk to him after that. Yet he asked me if I had dinner already [despite her cold treatment],” she said.
“I learned from him that family is life,” she said.
Hope for justice
Juvy’s ultimate request to the Philippine National Police (PNP) is their utmost help for timely justice for her husband and the congressman. (READ: PNP looking into 6 persons of interest in Batocabe slay)
She expressed that request to PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde when he visited the wake of the slain officer on Wednesday, December 26, and Juvy accepted the Medalya ng Kagalingan (PNP Medal of Merit) on behalf of her slain husband.
The medal is awarded to PNP members for a single act of heroism or a series of heroic acts in a duty not warranting the award of Medalya ng Kadakilaan (PNP Medal of Honor).
That’s also her request to the President who visited the wake of the slain solon on Wednesday. (READ: Duterte adds P20 million to bounty for Batocabe killers)
She said she appreciates all the help coming in from the PNP, and hopes what happened to her husband will serve as a lesson.
Juvy was referring to the protocol where there must be at least two security officers guarding a high-profile individual or a civilian with proven security risks.
While she understood their explanation that the person given this aid has a call on this – and that Batocabe still wanted a second aide – she’s hoping they would insist the protocol the next time. (READ: Batocabe security pulled out before murder? Cops cry foul)
Coordinating activities with the PNP is also crucial. According to Albayalde, Batocabe did not coordinate with the police before going into the program.
Juvy and her late husband understood the risk of his job.
“We had already talked about that. He was contemplating not serving beyond the one-month cap limit,” said Juvy.
Diaz had been Batocabe’s security aide for 3 weeks. In that short span of time, the two had developed mutual respect for one another.
According to Juvy, the slain officer found Batocabe as real as he could be.
When asked for a comment on New People’s Army’s (NPA) involvement on the incident, Juvy said she didn’t believe the group had a hand on it.
What they did was an overkill and my husband’s firearm was left untouched, she said. These two, according to her, are not common to NPA operations.
He had gone to far-flung places in Daraga before, she added.
She did not comment on the alleged involvement of Batocabe’s political rivals, however.
At the last part of the interview, she showed some video clips of her husband.
The longing for her husband to be alive was evident and so was her resolve to carry on for her 4 children: two girls, aged 15 and 13 years old, and two boys, 11 and 3 years old, respectively. – Rappler.com