Justice for a transgender

LET’S CALL HIM Criselda Himakas, not his real name of course, obviously to protect his privacy.

Criselda, a native of Oton, Iloilo, joined his Maker on Oct. 3, 2018 at age 31 due to a lingering illness after years of struggling to live a happy life out from extreme poverty.

At an early age after finishing his secondary education, Criselda, already a cross-dresser, went to Manila to look for a job fit for his personality. His only desire was to improve his economic condition. He was hopping from one club to another when he met the man of his dreams. His wish to transform – to be a transgender – was fulfilled through the help of this German friend who showered him love and prosperity.

Eventually, Criselda and his lover moved to Iloilo. The couple bought a house and lot to settle permanently. Criselda’s lover would travel to his country where he was employed in a prestigious company.

As an obedient son, Criselda provided for his poor father despite their estranged relationship since his mother’s death.

The last few days of his existence were a painful struggle to live as he became ill.

The first time he was hospitalized early this year, Criselda insisted to check out after almost a week of confinement against the advice of the hospital management. He was obliged to sign a waiver.

Staying at his residence days after he was discharged from the hospital, the pain continued. A distant relative kept him company.

Once a neighbor paid him a visit. She was shocked to find Criselda languishing in bed while the caretaker was busy playing a computer game. The neighbor, by her own initiative, grabbed a wet cotton ball and gently moistened the dried lips of her friend whom she thought was in thirst.

The following day Criselda was rushed to the hospital; he was struggling and grasping for air. He was already on the verge of dying.

Criselda, already skin and bones and having a bloated stomach, underwent a series of laboratory tests. But he expired in less than 24 hours upon admission.

Due to the father’s prodding on the cause of his son’s death, the physician was forced to reveal that the patient was found to be HIV positive but that a series of confirmatory tests was needed. The result was to be released in two months yet.

Criselda’s remains were brought back to his residence for the wake.

During the duration of the wake a rift erupted. Two of Criselda’s friends took away the responsibility of tending the wake from Criselda’s estranged father and other relatives. The father would sometimes resort to drinking when informed by these two friends that he won’t get anything from his dead son.

Upon learning the father’s predicament, a resident friend from a nearby barangay volunteered to give him a lawyer.

The day after the burial, the father, to his amazement, received a bunch of keys to the car and the house owned by his son. His son’s lover, a German citizen, knew fully well under our laws that he could not claim Criselda’s house. He was left without a choice but surrender the property to Criselda’s nearest living kin – the father whose only source of income was driving a cab.

Everything would have gone smoothly on the day of Criselda’s departure were it not for the ransacking of his house by so-called friends. Lost were pertinent documents, assorted jewelry, home appliances, etc. The sinister plan was executed on the last days of the wake.

To avoid a possible bloody argument, the father consulted his lawyer. The matter was reported to the nearest police station.

Here’s more. On the day of Criselda’s lover’s departure, the same person managed to persuade an insurance company to prepare a check worth a million pesos or so to be released under her name as Criselda’s beneficiary. This, however, was held in abeyance by the insurance company when the father complained.

The father’s lawyer is now preparing a suit against those involved if only to give Criselda the justice he deserved. ([email protected]/PN)


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