Janelle Manahan can’t speak but she communicates, says pa
MANILA, Philippines—She may not be able to speak, but she can be heard in other ways.
Janelle Manahan, the wounded girlfriend and eyewitness to the killing of actor Ramgen Bautista, is able to write. In fact, she wrote a poem for her boyfriend days after the murder on Oct. 28 in BF Homes, Parañaque City.
Janelle’s father, Julius Manahan, said she suddenly asked for a piece of paper and a marker on Nov. 1 and started writing down her thoughts.
“When she wrote that, she had not yet been informed of Ramgen’s death. Later, we told her what happened but we still try our best, even now, to evade her questions,” said the father.
Janelle was shot in the face and stabbed in both sides of her chest during the incident. She is undergoing reconstructive surgery.
“Actually, even after her two operations, it’s an unwritten rule to never talk about Ram in her presence,” her father said.
The poem did not name anyone nor specify the details of what happened that night, but the theme seemed to point to the tragedy.
“Same characters, same plot; different stories, different setups.
“My days and nights have been like this
Thinking what could have I done differently so
None of these exist
I wanna cry, I wanna cry so bad
But what’s the point
When there’s no UNDO button
To make it all alright”
“I had a hard time reading that poem. At that time, I almost slipped and told her that Ramgen was gone,” said Julius.
“She has always been expressive even as a child. She always wrote poems before. But I was just surprised about this poem,” he said.
The family only told her the news on Nov.5 because “she needs to know.”
“When she heard that Ramona and RJ were tagged as suspects by the police, she was shocked and she cried. But when she found out about Ram, she cried so hard that it triggered a nosebleed,” Julius said.
Janelle underwent an operation on Nov. 7 to reconstruct the four fractures in her face. Three days after the operation, her face was still swollen—“bloated” as described by her father.
“The doctors had to open her mouth wide for the operation. There are occasional pangs of pain, but we give her pain relievers. We try to be strong for her,” the father said.
A team of six specialists installed a square titanium plate with four holes and an L-shaped titanium plate with five holes to reconstruct her face.
According to Janelle’s father, she suddenly woke up from a deep sleep on the eve of Ramgen’s burial and said she dreamt about her boyfriend.
“She said ‘Daddy, I dreamt of Ram. We were riding in a car but I don’t know where we were going. Then he suddenly said I’m lucky to be given a second life.”
In an earlier interview, Julius said the family was willing to help in the investigation “to give Ram and Janelle justice.”
“Even if she can’t speak in the next few weeks while the investigation or hearing is ongoing, there are other ways to communicate. We are ready to help,” he said.
Meanwhile, authorities are mulling the filing of obstruction of justice charges against Ramgen’s sister Ramona Bautista, for flip-flopping in her initial statement to the Las Piñas police in the early morning of Oct. 29, hours after her elder brother was shot and stabbed to death inside their home.
Chief Insp. Enrique Sy, head of Task Force Ramgen of the Parañaque police, said their lawyer was still ironing out some kinks in the complaint to make sure it would not be thrown out by the court or the prosecutor for technicalities.
“We are studying this matter very carefully because we don’t want to bungle this case,” he told reporters outside the Parañaque prosecutor’s office on Saturday afternoon. “We don’t want small matters, for instance, like the venue where the complaint is filed, to affect it in anyway.” With a report by Miko Morelos
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