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Cebu News

Never scavenged for food Pa denies daughter’s IEC testimony

Kristine B. Quintas/RHM - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The father of a self-confessed scavenger who successfully graduated from college and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology belied in a radio interview that her daughter scavenged in her younger years.

Renato Cogtas, the father of Maria Georgia, said his seven children did not experience sorting through garbage to feed themselves, contrary to what the latter shared to some 15,000 delegates of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress Friday last week.

“Wa gyod na sila kasuway og pamasura. Gi-amoma ko sila,” he said over radio dySS yesterday afternoon.

During her 51st International Eucharistic Congress testimony last Friday, Georgia said she had to collect scraps and garbage to fill her empty stomach and survive after Renato “irresponsibly” abandoned them.

She was 13 years old that time.

Renato, though, told dySS that there was no truth to her daughter’s statement.

“Wa na nako mabuhat,” he said.

Renato admitted, though, that he and Georgia’s mom separated in 2007 “kay di ka-agwanta akong asawa sa kapobrehon.” His wife, he said, went to Manila as a house-help.

He said relationship with his children was affected also, and it worsened when he was accused of hurting with a stick the child of one of his children.

“Naay usa ka gihayon na pag-abot nako sa balay nisandig ko sa dingding. Naa man ko apo nga siaw-siaw. Akong gikomedyahan nagkuha ko og stick, ingon ko, bunalan tika ron,” Renato said.

“Human ang akong anak isa gipamatiran ang bangko og niingon, ‘wa ka pulos nga amahan’. Ang inahan nitubag pud ug si Maggie. So gipunit nako ang stick, wala nako gibunalan gikuhit ra aron mahilom sila,” he said. Renato fondly calls Georgia as Maggie.

The incident, Renato said, was recorded at the police station allegedly because he hit them.

“Gibutang-butangan ko nila og sala gipanggukod og kutsilyo. Gikulata sa akong misis.  Wa gyod ko namunal nila or nangulata ba. Wa ko kahikap nila. Bisan kusi gani wa pero ang maguwang nuon nila nakusian nako,” he said.

“Gi-brainwash man akong mga anak. Gidaot man nuon ko nila tungod siguro sa kawad-on. Naa sila pangayuon nako dili ko kahatag,” he lamented.

After the incident in 2007, Renato said he no longer had the chance to speak with his children and his wife until he heard the testimony of Georgia over the news.

“Wa mi nagkasulti gikan ko nila gipapriso. Gusto nako i-clear akong pangalan. Wa koy gibuhat nilang daotan. One-sided ra ang story wa ko kapadayag sa akong bahin,” he said.

Renato said that despite his meager salary he provided food and attended to some of his seven children’s and wife’s needs even if he had no money left for himself.

He said he tried to send all his children to school despite their poverty.

“Igo-igo ra gyod ang sweldo palit sa pagkaon ug ilang baon kada semana. Ako ang nag-ugmad nila og paeskwela hangtud second year high school siya (Georgia),” Renato said.

In her testimony, Georgia said the money she earned from selling scraps helped her finished high school and feed her hungry siblings.

The FREEMAN tried to reach Georgia for her reaction on her father’s statements but she was unavailable as of press time. (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC AKONG ANG GEORGIA INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS FRIDAY MARIA GEORGIA NAKO NILA RENATO RENATO COGTAS
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