MANILA -– A Filipina beauty queen who migrated to the United States years back to look for greener pasture was a victim of domestic violence when she was gunned down allegedly by her own husband in the State of Maryland last May 5, according to the Migrant Heritage Commission, a |Filipino non-government organization based in Washington, DC.
In an e-mail to this writer, Grace Divina Valera, MHC, co-director, identified the victim as Gladys Tordil, 44, who hailed from Pikit, North Cotabato in Mindanao.The suspect was identified as Eulalio Tordil, Gladys’ husband.
Ms. Valera said that Gladys was gunned down at the High Point High School (PG County, Maryland). She was a chemistry teacher of Prince Georges County Public School (PGCPS).
The couple has two minor daughters — Nikki and Grace, both high school students — who are now in foster care after the tragedy.
Memorial services were held Sunday (May 22) with Rev. Fr. Steve de Leon officiating.
Speakers during the memorial services were Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia Jr.; Leony Gimeno, president of La Salle Philippines Alumni Association in the US; Ms. Tanya Washington, principal of Parkdale High School, Riverside in Maryland; Ms. Alma Navarro, founder of Pikit International; and Atty Arnedo S. Valera, MHC co-executive director.
Nikki and Grace Tordil, daughters of Gladys, made the response.
In a statement, the MHC said that “Glady’s was a victim of domestic violence.”
Gladys graduated valedictorian at Notre Dame High School in Cotabato and a beauty pageant winner, Mutya ng Pikit, South Cotabato.
She graduated cum laude at the De La Salle-Philippines and earned a master’s degree at Phoenix University in the US. She was also an active member/supporter of the Pikitenos International, Midwest East Coast Chapter.
Upon the request of the family (her mother and siblings), MHC took charge of arranging Gladys’ memorial services in the US and repatriation of her remains to the Philippines. This arrangement is also being coordinated with the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C.
“The sudden demise of Gladys left her two minor daughters helpless hence we are appealing for financial assistance for her repatriation/funeral expenses and to assist the children financially and psychologically survive this tragedy,” the MHC said.
“While our community continues to grieve for Gladys’ tragic death, we must all stand up and act in unity to stop the epidemic of domestic violence. It hurts people. It injures and breaks the emotional and psychological state of mind of a person. And it kills. Domestic violence transcends ethnicity. It happens in every nationality. We can contribute to stop domestic violence by equipping ourselves with knowledge and information on domestic violence, its symptoms and the traumatic effects that permanently scar the lives of thousands of women and children, if not the ultimate tragedy of death like what happened to Gladys. MHC strongly urges the community to reach out to people whom they know are victims or have reason to believe that they are victims of domestic violence and spousal abuse, including children. There is a domestic abuse hotline that you can call, a place for shelter and legal assistance. The most important is to place them in a safe, secured and caring environment,” it pointed out.
“The number of women murdered in this country by current husband or former spouse or live-in partner nearly doubled the number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 (6,388 troops killed compared to 11,766 murdered women because of domestic violence.) Every year, 4.8 million women in the US experience physical violence by an intimate partner or legal spouse. It is an epidemic, not a singular incident,” the MHC said. Ben Cal/PNA/northboundasia.com