The unimaginable murder of Sarah Gemalyn Becyagen in Bontoc, Mountain Province continues to bring extreme sadness to every Cordilleran in the country and abroad.

According to news reports, the 22-year old Otucan, Bauko native was found dead in a vacant lot near the Mountain Province General Comprehensive High School (MPGCHS).

Her personal belongings were not found in the place where her body was seen, suggesting the police that the victim was also robbed.

Everyone is still confused. Was she raped? Was she killed immediately? Was she alone when she was attacked?


Police findings may have some of the answers to these concerns.

But only God, and the animal or animals that did the crime, know what really happened that night.

On Facebook, Thomas Becyagen Palpal, a relative of the victim, thanked people who keep on supporting their family in surviving the depressing fate of Sarah.

“Justice for Sarah, protection of girls and women,” wrote Palpal on his account. 

Moreover, photos of the victim have been circulating online to pour support to the bereaved family.

Anyone who learns about the incident would surely say “ada manen kasta?”

As of now, no suspect or suspects have been identified; no further information can feed our thirst for justice.

The only thing we can do is to believe that every man is born with conscience; that one day, the perpetrator or perpetrators will surrender to the police voluntarily after suffering from uneasy days and disturbed nights.

After this crime of the decade, what is next?

We should now talk about possible measures on how to prevent similar crimes in Bontoc (or in any other place).

We should not let this nightmare turn into a milking cow for those who want to win in the 2013 elections.

However, we must give credit to those people who are working hard to put an end to this case.

Moreover we should not talk about the things that the police, the community or the government should have done, but did not.

Identifying people to blame will not help heal the deep wound the incident has left us.

Instead, it should be our initiative to cooperate with each other to preserve peace in our locality that was once a zero-crime neighborhood.