Mom of slain Filipina in Sweden seeks custody of grandchildren

MANILA, Philippines – The mother of the Filipina slain recently in Sweden, 28-year-old Mailyn Conde Sinambong, is now seeking custody of her grandchildren, said the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Sinambong died on September 23 after she was allegedly beaten to death by her husband, 50-year-old Swedish actor-director Steve Abou Bakr Aalam. The suspect is now in the custody of authorities and is facing a murder case

Sinambong's mother, Maria Monato, is based in Cebu.

Philippine Consul General to Oslo Maria Elena Algabre said that the Philippine embassy will "hire a lawyer to see how Sinambong's mother in Cebu could secure custody of her 10-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter." Sinambong's children both live in Sweden.

"Consul General Algabre said the son is currently staying with his paternal uncle while the daughter is with the foster family that has been taking care of her since birth," said the DFA on Thursday, October 4.

Algabre said the Philippine government is arranging to bring Sinambong's remains back to the Philippines. 

In her report to Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, she also said the Swedish prosecutor handling Sinambong's case, Malin Kühn, "assured her and Sinambong's Norway-based aunt, Lugina Eliasen, that justice will be served."

Cayetano thanked Sweden for making this promise. "This assurance means so much not only to the loved ones Mailyn left behind but to all Filipinos who are mourning with them," Cayetano said. –

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at