By Minka Tiangco
Throughout his short life, 17-year-old Marcelino “Tiki” Estrada, Jr. only knew hardship.
His parents Anita Acosta and Marcelino Estrada were imprisoned in December 2018 after they were accused of using illegal drugs.
Because of that, he and his siblings were forced to sell their house at Market 3 at Barangay North Bay Boulevard North (NBBN) in Navotas City.
Soon after, most of Tiki’s siblings were adopted at the Tahanang Puso.
Instead of getting an education, he chose to make a living as a scavenger and a pedicab driver at a tender age to help provide for his other siblings.
Finally, on September 27, his body was found floating on a canal at Market 3 in Navotas City, his head bashed, his throat slit, with his torso bearing multiple stab wounds.
His grandmother Fely Tiglao, 62, said that although Tiki found it difficult to earn money, he would frequently give a share of his earnings, not only to her, but also to his other family members.
Three days before his death, Tiki even gave his grandmother P100 for a medical check-up.
Tiki’s uncle Buboy Tiglao, 24, said his nephew also helped around his house by giving him. enough money to buy rice and offering to take care of his two young children while he worked as an LPG delivery boy.
Tiki also made many friends, one of them being 25-year-old Edmond “Monmon” Sedorio, his fellow pedicab driver.
Fely remembered Monmon as a kind man who would give a share of his earnings to Tiki’s siblings so they could eat.
But at about midnight on September 22, Monmon was killed by the police at Market 3 at Barangay NBBN in Navotas.
According to a police report, Monmon was killed in a buy-bust operation after he fired shots at the police with a caliber .45 firearm.
Eight sachets of suspected shabu were reportedly retrieved from his possession.
A 17-year-old boy was also arrested by the police after he reportedly helped Monmon’s cohort Allan Tremotcha. But he was released a day after.
In his visit at his friend’s wake, Tiki placed a pair of shoes underneath Monmon’s casket, his final gift to his friend. He also offered P400 of his earnings to Monmon’s family so they could buy snacks for the guests attending the wake.
In a tragic turn of events, just five days after, Tiki was also killed.
A witness told the police that he saw five men mauling Tiki at about 2 a.m. on September 27.
At about 5 a.m., another witness reported finding Tiki’s body to the police.
Buboy recalled that he was at Market 3 and was on his way to deliver an LPG tank when he heard about Tiki’s death.
“Pwede niyo namang patayin na hindi pinapahirapan. Baket kailangan niyo pa bagsakan ng bato? (You can kill him without torturing him. Why did you have to crush his skull with a rock?)” Buboy said, addressing Tiki’s killers.
“First time kong mawalan ng apo (It’s my first time to lose a grandchild),” Fely said amid tears. “Mahal na mahal ko ‘yang mga ‘yan. Kahit wala na kong makain, basta may mabibigay ako sakanila (I love them very much. Even if I don’t get to eat, as long as I can give them something).”
Three months prior to this, Tiki frequently told Fely and Buboy that there were people “hunting” him down.
Residents of Barangay NBBN reportedly tagged him as a police informer. But Fely and Buboy denied this and said he only frequented the area to ask for payment for one of the residents who had a debt to his father.
A week before his death, Tiki asked Buboy for money so he can go to Bulacan to hide, but his uncle was not able to give him anything.
A local court allowed Tiki’s mother to go out of jail to come to her son’s wake. Budoy said she was overcome with emotion and cried for justice for her son’s death.
Fely said they were overwhelmed with the funeral expenses for Tiki.
Tiki was laid to his final resting place at La Loma Catholic Cemetery in Caloocan City on October 5, but now, Fely said they were left with nothing.
“Muntik na siyang hindi malibing kasi wala kaming pera (He almost didn’t get burried because we did not have enough money),” she lamented. “Wala na natira samin pang-40 days (We don’t have enough money left for his 40th day commemoration).”