herald

Thursday 21 June 2018

Grief-stricken parents so heartbroken 'they can't even speak', says friend

A woman looks at the floral tributes to Jastine in Enniskerry
A woman looks at the floral tributes to Jastine in Enniskerry

Jastine Valdez's parents are so heartbroken by her murder that they "can't even speak", a family friend has revealed.

Friends from Enniskerry, Co Wicklow - where the couple live - and from the Filipino community have visited the family over recent days to console them.

They say Jastine's mother Teresita and father Dannilo are struggling to cope with their devastating loss.

"You can't speak to them at the moment. You just have to hold her hand and give her a hug," one friend said.

Delay

It is understood a service will be held in Bray before Jastine's body is repatriated to be laid to rest in her home town of Aritao in the Philippines.

However, there may be delays depending on how the inquiry into her death progresses.

A friend of Jastine's, Mary Laulita, worked with her in a care home in Dublin in 2016, shortly after she had moved to Ireland to join her parents.

Ms Laulita told the Herald yesterday Jastine had been studying accountancy at IT Tallaght in order to help her parents have an early retirement in the Philippines.

"She wanted to help her mum and dad," she said.

"That's why she started here and why she started studying. She wanted her mum and dad to go back to the Philippines [in a few years] and rest and have an early retirement."

While Jastine only worked in the Glenageary nursing home for a short time, Ms Laulita would regularly drop her at the Dart station.

Jastine would get on and then be collected at the end of her journey in Bray by her dad.

"Jas was just a very sweet girl, you couldn't complain about her," she said. "She would work hard and was always very friendly with everyone."

Whenever Jastine said goodbye to her friends, she would always say, "I love you".

"She really liked Ireland. She was a really happy person and very positive, there were never any negatives," Ms Laulita added.

Books of condolence were opened for Jastine in Wicklow and in Tallaght yesterday.

Shocked

Jocelynne Nisperos, a relative of Jastine who lives in her home town in the Philippines, said there was great sadness in the community.

"In our place now where Jastine grew up, all the people are really sad and shocked," she said.

Ms Nisperos added Jastine's grandmother - who raised her after her parents moved to Ireland - had taken the death particularly badly.

She described Jastine as "very kind and helpful".

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