A family’s Christmas wish: To find missing 7-year-old boy
James Sajoyan, 19, could not sleep last Sunday not because he was waiting for Christmas day to come, but because he grappled with sadness, worry and fear as his youngest brother went missing weeks ago, and still hasn’t been found.
Before midnight of Dec. 6, James’ 7-year-old-brother, Daniel, woke up, probably to pee inside their small stall at Bayan Palengke, Tandang Sora, Quezon City. Daniel was with his sister, Eves, 32, at that time, James told INQUIRER.net over a phone interview on Monday.
James said Eves stirred from her sleep and just like that, she discovered their youngest brother was gone.
Eves brought Daniel to QC from their province in Pampanga only a week before, which made them even more afraid. Their brother could be traversing unfamiliar places, all alone and vulnerable.
James narrated that his sister immediately searched for Daniel, until they met a security guard from a nearby gasoline station.
“Sabi raw po ng guard saktong 12:00 a.m. daw po nakita nya si Daniel dahil nagsara raw po sila. Naglalakad daw papuntang circle (QC Memorial Circle),” James said.
(The guard said that he saw Daniel at 12:00 a.m. while they were closing shop. He said he was walking towards QC Memorial Circle.)
“Kinausap daw ng guard, tinatanong sino magulang, ‘di raw po nagsasalita dere-deretso raw po ‘yung lakad. Sabi ng guard kung nagsalita raw po papaupuin nya raw po. Kaso baka naalimpungatan yun eh,” he added.
(The guard spoke to him, asked him who his parents were but he wasn’t talking; he kept walking. The guard said if he answered, he would have asked him to sit down. But he may have been just half-asleep.)
They asked for the help of Barangay Pasong Tamo and Tandang Sora and QCPD Police Station 3. They were assisted to submit a request to get a copy of the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage from the gasoline station, but James said the guard refused to show or give them a copy. They haven’t heard anything from the police either.
But this did not make them give up. They continued to search for Daniel. On their own, they searched all over Quezon City, to Payatas area, until Quiapo, Manila, posting flyers and posters with their brother’s face and their contact number. But 19 days after, Daniel was still not home in time for Christmas day.
In a Facebook post of Cathy Garcia last Sunday, she shared the same poster James and his family have been using to search for Daniel. Garcia’s helper was Daniel’s aunt.
“Many poor kids go missing everyday like our helper’s 7 year old nephew who went missing on Dec 7 and still hasn’t been found. And what do the police do? Nothing,” Garcia said.
While James refused to put any blame against authorities, he hoped police would help them find Daniel in any way possible.
“Maghintay nalang daw po kasi tatawagan daw po lahat ng station. Pero sa ganun na ganyang bata dapat kumilos kaagad diba po? Kasi 7 years old lang po ang kapatid ko,” James said.
(They said we need to just wait because they will call all the stations. But when it concerns a child like that, should they be working quickly? Because he’s only 7 years old.)
And their family’s only wish this Christmas day is that they could hear Daniel sing to them once again.
“Sana kung may nakakita sa kanya o nakapulot, sana ibalik naman po sa amin dahil hinahanap na namin siya,” he said.
(I hope that whoever has seen him and taken him in would bring him back to us because we’ve been looking for him.)
“Sabi ko nga nag-wish na ako sabi ko sana Panginoon kapatid nalang namin ang regalo nyo sa amin. Sana ibigay niyo siya sa amin, sana mahanap namin siya,” he added.
(I said, Lord, just give us our brother back as a gift. I wish You would give him back to us, I wish we find him.)
This reporter is still trying to contact the police for updates on Daniel’s disappearance.
For any valuable information, you may contact James at 0921-366-8203. /je
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