MANILA, Philippines — It was a cropped photo taken from outside a restaurant — not in an intimate location — that led to the alleged violent incident last Saturday between Sel Guevarra, a courtside reporter of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), and her ex-boyfriend, chef Robert Eric Spakowski, that resulted in Guevarra sustaining wounds and bruises.
Guevara, in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net on Tuesday, said that she was with a friend in that photo which Spakowski took himself while eating in the chef’s restaurant in a upscale mall in Makati.
So it was to Guevara’s surprise that her boyfriend of nine months had broken up with her over such photo, which she used as her profile picture on Facebook, and allegedly even called her an “idiot” in a text message.
“He broke up with me because of a ‘selfie.’ The ‘selfie’ was the root cause, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that when he saw the ‘selfie,’ he beat me up. He even took the picture himself,” said Guevara.
“Ako naman, picture lang tapos dali mo maki-pagbreak (As for me, I thought he’d break up with me over a photo). I told him I didn’t do anything wrong. I keep my promises, I never did anything wrong. Then he said, ‘idiot.’ Sabi ko kung mumurahin mo lang ako (I said if you’d just curse me), don’t talk to me anymore. Then he said, done,” Guevarra also recalled.
But that wasn’t the end of the conversation between the two, as Spakowski allegedly sent Guevara another text message at around two in the morning on Saturday, asking if she has regretted her actions.
Guevara then went to the chef’s residence in Quezon City to talk things through, but when she opened Spakowski’s bedroom door, she said a choke welcomed her.
“I went there, tapos tinatawagan ko phone nya, wala sumasagot. The maids went out, sabi ‘Ma’am Sel pasok nalang po kayo. Kayo nalang po gumising kay Sir Robby.’ Pag akyat ko, kinatok ko pinto. Pag bukas ko ng pinto, he choked me (I was trying to call him but there was no reply. The maids told me to just come in and to go to Robby’s room. I went up and knocked on the door. When I opened it, he choked me),” Guevara said.
Guevara said she tried to resist Spakowski when he tried to drag her out of the room.
“He grabbed me because he wanted me to leave. Bakit nya ako kakaladkarin (Wht would he drag me)? I was saying ‘can we talk, can we talk.’ He said he doesn’t want to,” Guevara recounted.
“I was really resisting for him not to touch me. There was a moment when he was trying to get me. Unang salubong, hawak agad. He would grab my wrist. Kakalakadkarin nya ako parang sako. He would hold me in the waist, hineadlock nya ako. Sa bewang nya ako binuhat to drag me out,” she also said.
In the process of resisting, Guevara landed in the emergency room later that morning with sprained fingers and a fractured bone near the backside of her pelvis, the initial X-Ray results showed.
Guevara said Spakowski’s maids helped her to catch her breath outside the house and get her a cab, since she couldn’t drive anymore.
The first place she first went to was the nearby Quezon City Galas Police Station 11 to report the beating.
‘I won’t let this pass’
Guevara officially filed her complaint against Spakowski, for violating Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence against Women and Children, on Tuesday afternoon at the Quezon City Hall of Justice.
She’s down with a fever when INQUIRER.net reached her over the phone, after spending the last few days fixing the case. “Hindi biro yun. Wala akong time magpahinga talaga. Sabi ko talaga, I wont let this pass (It’s no joke. I didn’t have time to rest. I told myself, I won’t let this pass).”
She said she hasn’t heard from Spakowski since Saturday, when the chef called her phone while she was in the E.R., but her friend, who accompanied her to the hospital, answered for her.
“My friend told me that Rob has questions. Ever since that call, he cut everything. Di mo na alam kung nasan nya (He’s nowhere to be found),” Guevara said.
Guevara, who is also working as a DJ when not in the sidelines in a PBA game, has been getting a lot of support from fans and followers on Twitter and has been advocating for women to stand up against violence.
“You know what gave the conviction to have it out in the media and have it push through with the case? The women’s desk at the police station were telling me to push through with the case because ang daming cases ng mga babae na tinitiis ang pambubugbog kasi takot (There are many cases of women who had been physically abused but just bear it due to fear).”
“Minsan malalambot puso, dadaan nalang sa usap. Sabi sa akin ng pulis na it’s crime, and not all women understand that,” she also said.
Guevara said this was the first time Spakowski had shown violence towards her.
But when asked whether she would forgive Spakowski if he apologizes sincerely for the alleged beating, Guevara said, “I will forgive him but that doesn’t mean I will not continue filing the case.”