Thu. Feb 27th, 2020

Bienvinido “Toto” Veguilla, Jr.’ family confident he will get justice

CENRO Felizardo Cayatoc welcome participants from different CENROs in Palawan on five-day event learning safe gun handling technique and basic self-defense for DENR-MIMAROPA personnel. (Photo by Romar Miranda)

The family of late forest ranger Bienvinido “Toto” Veguilla, Jr. expressed confidence that they could get justice for him.

Eloisa Fernando Veguilla, wife of Toto Veguilla, Jr. said Tuesday in an interview with Palawan News that it is still hard on their part to forget her husband’s death.

“Sana mabigyan siya ng (hustisya), ‘yong mga pumatay sa kanya ay makulong talaga. Kasi maliban doon sa illegal na gawain nila, dagdag pa ‘yong pinatay nila,” Eloisa said on the first day of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) MIMAROPA safe gun handling technique and basic self-defense training.

Wildlife Enforcement Officers receive safe gun handling technique and basic self-defense training for their own protection. (Photo by Romar Miranda)

“Inaasikaso naman talaga ng departamento nila (‘yong kaso) at meron silang attorney,” she said.

She said that the issuance of firearms to the forest rangers in different towns will be helpful once it is fully implemented.

“Mahalaga ito na ma-i-implement agad kasi for implementation na sila. Kung na-implement ito agad baka hindi rin nangyari na naano [napatay] siya ng mga ilegalista. Kasi ‘yong mga kasama niya ay wala rin armas, anim sila puro walang dala. Sabi ko kung na-isyuhan sana sila kaagad ng baril na ‘yan [baka di nangyari ‘yon],” she said.

Eloisa with other agency officials attended the event about their move and schedule on case hearing regarding Toto’s death.

She said after Toto was buried, their family had received assistance from the DENR where we worked for and from Government Security Insurance System (GSIS) burial assistance.

“Sana ‘yong mga environmental workers kagaya ng aking yumaong asawa ay lagi silang mag-iingat. Bago sila pumunta sa gubat, siguraduhin nila na meron silang kasama na pulis o marines para may assistance para di naman papaslangin sila,” she said.

She said that when they reminded Toto before that he should have been accompanied by uniformed personnel, the latter insisted that it would be more dangerous when they are with them during their operation.

“Kapag sinasabihan namin na dapat ay may kasama kayong military, sinasabi niya na mas delikado kapag kasama na naka-uniporme. Dahil siya yong nangunguna sa kanila sa pagpapatrol sa gubat, hindi siya natatakot,” she said.

She said that she is satisfied with the government’s effort to help forest rangers like his husband and stated that they must have insurances due to the dangerous job they have.

Eloisa remembering his husband’s dedication 

“Medyo nakakaano na pero mahirap pa rin talaga makalimot. Lalo na kapag ganitong may mga nagpo-post na nagseminar ‘yong mga kasama niya, syempre naaalala na naman namin siya, kailangan din tanggapin,” she said.

Eloisa said that she was impressed with her husband’s dedication to his work in protecting forest areas in El Nido.

“Sabi ko nga, pati ba naman holiday.  Basta may naka-schedule na lakad sila, lalakad ‘yan kahit Sabado o Linggo. Talagang dedicated siya sa trabaho niya,” she said.

Eloisa, a school head in El Nido, is still pushing to attain justice with their six children left after Toto’s death.

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