BATANGAS, Philippines – A key Quezon province leader for presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo has been missing for five days now, but even with heavy hearts Dante Gatdula’s fellow volunteers are pushing through with preparations for the independent bet’s rally in Lucena on Thursday, April 28.
Gatdula, the 57-year-old head of the Robredo People’s Council (RPC) in the town of Candelaria, left his home 7am on Saturday, April 23, and has not returned since then.
Dante is also chairman of Akbayan Candelaria.
His wife, Betsie, said Dante left for a meeting, which she assumed was related to his responsibilities as RPC head.
“Busy sya sa pag-aasikaso sa general rally sa April 28 sa Lucena. Sya ang naghahanap ng mga sasakyan ng mga pupunta mula Candelaria at mga poll watchers,” she narrated. (He was busy preparing for the April 28 general rally in Lucena. He was looking for vehicles to ferry those coming from Candelaria and the poll watchers.)
Dante usually goes home at noon to have lunch with his family, Betsie said. But on April 23, one of Dante’s classmates forwarded a message that read, “Puntahan nyo ang misis ko at ihingi nyo ako ng tawad at wala na ako at paalam.”
Betsie confirmed that the message came from her husband’s mobile number but it could no longer be reached when she tried to contact him.
The following day, she went to the local police station to report Dante as a missing person but there has been no development since then.
Betsie said she has also received messages from people saying that they have her husband.
“May nagmemessage, ‘di ko nirereplayan, di ko alam ang totoo. Gusto ko makausap ang asawa ko kung talagang nasa kanila. Habang tumatagal nahihirapan ako, walang linaw,” she lamented.
(Some people sent messages but I don’t reply. I don’t know what’s true. I want to speak to my husband if he really is with them. As days go by, it’s more difficult, this lack of clarity.)
Betsie appealed to anyone who has seen or has knowledge of her husband’s whereabouts to have pity on the family.
“Napakabait nyang tao, wala syang pinipiling pinakisamahan. Sana makabalik sya ng maayos at sana kung saan man sya naroroon ligtas sya,” Betsie added.
(He is such a good man; he is friendly with everyone. I hope he comes home safe or remains safe wherever he is.)
Those who have information regarding Dante Gatdula may reach his family through the following numbers: 0961-3450157; 0927-8847153; 0939-8510709; and (042) 719 1766 (landline). – Rappler.com