Surviving five days of captivity
ABS-CBN employee Obdulia “Dolly” Cruz left ABS-CBN to take care of some company documents at a branch of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Quezon Avenue, March 18 of last year. She was last seen leaving the BIR office around 10 AM and was not heard from again until five days later when she was found more than 200 kilometers away in Pacdal, Baguio.
The then 52-year-old had been abducted by two unknown assailants who wanted to take the money from her ATM accounts. For five days, she was tied up, blindfolded, and beaten for what little cash the unassuming Kapamilya employee had in her accounts.
After more than a year since that fateful day, Cruz shared her story to the ABS-CBN Christian Fellowship community.
“For five days, all I did was cry and pray and cry again,” Cruz said about her ordeal. “I didn’t know where I was. I wasn’t sure if it was a house or a room. All I know is that I was thirsty.”
Her abductors gave her food and water, but Cruz never ate for fear that she would be poisoned. Cruz was relentlessly questioned for her [personal identification numbers] but refused to give the codes, and when she did give a combination, it was the wrong one. When the ATMs the abductors used ate the cards for inputting the wrong pin a number of times, they started hurting her.
Tearfully, she remembered how she didn’t feel pain when her abductors whipped her. In one occasion, she asked the men, “don’t you know what you’re doing is sinful? Don’t you have any conscience? Don’t you care that I have a family who is probably worried sick looking for me?”
Cruz looked to the Lord for strength, peace, and courage during her abduction. During the five days she was held captive, Cruz prayed not only for her safety and her family’s peace, but also for abductors.
“Lord, forgive them,” Cruz said as she recited the prayer she offered to her abductors. “They don’t know what they’re doing. This is the work of the devil”
Eventually, her captors gave up and let her go. She was brought into a van and was driven for hours before she was kicked off the vehicle. At first, she thought to herself that she was going to be killed. She asked the Lord, “is this the end of the road for me?”
She was surprised and thankful that instead of harming her, her captors drove off. She took her blindfold off to see a purple van speeding away.
She was later found by residents who told her she was in Pacdal, Baguio and was brought to the nearest police station where she was able to call her family. Employees of ABS-CBN Baguio were also contacted and immediately came to Cruz’s aid. She was brought to Notre Dame Hospital and was nursed back to health.
Today, Cruz has not only recovered physically and mentally, she has also adopted a baby girl. During her recovery period, a fellow Christian approached her asking her if she is willing to adopt a baby whose mother can no longer care for her. She immediately said yes, and was thankful that her husband was supportive of her decision.
“She is now my source of joy,” said Cruz.
Although her captors were never caught, she has found peace knowing that their actions will not go unnoticed by the Lord.
“It is said in the bible,” Cruz said of her captors,” Bless those who persecute me; bless and do not curse them. Pray that God bless them. Never pay back evil with more evil.”
This article was published on e-Frequency last April 11, 2014.