Ellah Joy’s family prepares for burial; Berger thanks online supporters

Posted on February 20, 2011

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Ellah Joy's grandmother Adelaida Capareda (seated) and mother Ligaya Pique (standing behind her) at their home in Minglanilla wonder what will happen to their case. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

The little girl's tomb in Pardo Public Cemetery, Cebu City, is prepared for today's burial. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

A BYSTANDER reads an announcement of Ellah Joy Pique's funeral posted on the gate outside the Calajo-an Elementary School in Minglanilla (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

by Marian Z. Codilla
Reporter

A day before the burial of her youngest daughter, the grandmother of
slain kidnap victim Ellah Joy Pique  wondered aloud  whether justice
would  ever be served.

“God saw who murdered my granddaughter… He’s the only one I can rely
on now because if money is used,  we won’t get anywhere. We are poor,”
Adelaida Caparida told  in Cebuano.

Their neighbors in a seaside village in Minglanilla town were offering
prayers in a  morning vigil yesterday.  They prayed for the truth to
surface.

Ligaya Pique, Ellah’s mother, said she still believes her child was
taken away and killed by the arrested suspects, Sven-Erik Berger and
his Cebuana fiancée Karen Esdrelon.

“They were identified by three witnesses and I don’t know these
children,” said a  Ligaya,  while cooking fish for lunch yesterday.

She said she wasn’t convinced by the video footage that showed the
couple checking into the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel the same afternoon
her daughter was abducted by a car-riding couple.

Caparida said the crime could be done by someone else ordered by the couple.

Policemen were posted as a security detail near the houses of Ellah
Joy’s family and the children witnesses.

Ellah Joy’s remains will be laid to rest at the Pardo Public Cemetery
in Cebu City.

Sympathizers are requested to wear white and bring white flowers
during the funeral procession.

Last Wednesday, Ellah’s father Renante Pique, their relatives and
neighbors went to barangay Guibuanngan in Barili town in western Cebu
where Ella’s body was found last Feb. 9.

Around 15 people prayed in the private resort where her remains were
discovered  and offered food for the girl’s soul.

They  performed a  ritual at the cliff where Renante held a white
sheet  on his back, which he later brought from Barili  town back to
their house in barangay  Calajo-an, Minglanilla.

They said this symbolized his bringing back home the soul of his daughter.

They stayed in Barili for 30 minutes then  drove back to Minglanilla.
The group also prayed the Rosary  for the eternal rest of Ellah’s soul
as they rode in the car.

Meanwhile, supporters of Esdrelon and Berger filled the wall of their
Facebook fan page with 561 “likes.”

The Facebook account was created last Wednesday by Esdrelon’s friends
and colleagues in Tuburan town’s  Rural Health Unit.

Supporters called on the public to continue with  prayers for the
couple’s immediate release.

At 10 a.m. yesterday, Berger posted his own thanks on Facebook to
express gratitude for the online support.

“Finally it seems that two innocent people will be released, and I
just hope that the real killers who so brutally kidnapped and murdered
Ellah Joy will be found!” he wrote on the fan page wall. /With
Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus and Reporter Candeze R. Mongaya

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