By Don Tagala ABSCBN, North America North America Bureau
Aug. 11, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Filipino community in Philadelphia is still mourning the death of Jennifer Bongco, the 41-year-old Ilonggo nurse who was found dead in Winslow Township in Camden County, N.J. last July 25.
Her boyfriend, 52-year-old Kevin Ambrose was later arrested and charged with murder.
According to authorities, Bongco’s 5-year-old daughter witnessed what appeared to be a deadly confrontation.
Community leader Hermie Aczon said, “She witnessed the killing of the mother. But when I saw her at the viewing of the nine days novena sa bahay, she was just playing around with the other kids.”
Jennifer’s remains have been cremated and the elder 19-year-old daughter Jolina is planning to bring her mother’s ashes home to their family in the Philippines.
Aczon says Jennifer had to be cremated because of her physical condition.
“Kung madidinig mo ginawa niya eh talagang sinira niya mukha ni Jennifer,” said Aczon. “Eighty-four stab wounds sa face and dito kasi sa pag-ilag-ilag niya according sa Medico Legal, that’s why sa viewing closed casket.”
Meantime, the Philippine Nurses Association President Belinda Reyes says the Pinoy community in Philly is doing its share to help out the Bongco siblings.
“Jennifer Bongco is a single mother so, at this time, especially the kids they need financial help,” Reyes said. “I try to convince everybody to give their donations directly to the Jennifer Bongco Fund.”
Without their mother to pay for their mortgage, the two girls may soon lose their home.
Aczon says the elder Jolina Bongco may be staying at a friend’s or boyfriend’s place while the younger Jessica may be staying with her biological father’s new family.
Reyes says the Filipino community promised to help take care of the girls.
Reyes said, “It’s very important, because you know, kapwa natin Filipino, who else is going to help them, tayo ding mga Pilipino.”
You may contact Don Tagala at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.