by Cynthia De Castro/Asianjournal.com
LOS ANGELES – It’s the kind of story that leaves one with a bad taste in the mouth, especially if one’s a Filipino.
Over a month ago, retired Hawaiian musician Frank Manuma, took his beloved 8-month old pet dog named Caddy with him to Moanalua Golf Club. He said he got permission to leave Caddy by the equipment barn, tied up near a maintenance shed, while he played a round of golf. When he returned, his dog was gone.
Witnesses told Moanalua Golf Club officials that they saw two FilAm maintenance workers, Saturnino Palting and Nelson Domingo, load the German shepherd-Labrador mix into a car and drive away at the end of their shift. The club manager later questioned Palting and Domingo who initially said that the dog ran away. The club fired the workers and called on the police to investigate.
Another man, who was also a golf course employee and who had the day off, told police that Palting and Domingo brought the dog to his house where they killed and butchered it.
When police questioned the two suspects, both men confessed to butchering and eating the dog. The men told a witness they took the dog for food, according to police. They were arrested in their homes on $20,000 warrants.
“I heard a quote saying ‘we killed the dog because I have to feed my family,” Manuma said in a report. “And with that, I kind of lost it.”
The dog’s owners were understandably grieving. They never had children nor had they owned a pet dog together before they took on Caddy.
Last week, an Oahu grand jury indicted Palting and Domingo on charges of second-degree theft and first-degree cruelty to animals. Palting and Domingo will be the first persons to be prosecuted under a new law passed last June 1 which makes cruelty to animals a Class-C felony in Hawaii. Both crimes are class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The pet’s owner was relieved upon hearing that the two had been indicted.
“That’s great news,” said Manuma. “We’re delighted that it’s moving forward.”
The story has attracted international attention and drew reactions of horror and disgust, as well as expressions of sympathy. Reactions from Filipinos on the internet ranged from anger to disgust and shame.
“It is particularly upsetting for me to learn that they were originally from the Philippines. Individuals like these dog-eaters smear our reputation to no end.” said one blogger. Another said that this practice “butchers our image as a race and as a nation.”
Still another blogger commented on what she feels truly motivated Palting and Domingo for what they did.
“Reading other reports on the web can lead anyone to think that Caddy was slaughtered for food. They give the wrong impression. In truth, as I know the practice to be, dogs are slaughtered to become finger food for a drinking session among the menfolk. Almost always, slaughtered dogs do not address a need for food, but a need to be macho among drinking buddies,’ she said.
Offers of new dogs for Manuma and his wife came from people as far away as Colorado. Manuma said he and his wife didn’t want to accept a new dog because they felt it was too early after the loss of their first. But a few weeks ago, he said, they relented and accepted a 3-month-old German shepherd-Golden retriever mix.
“We wanted to do it for the people out there,” Manuma said. They named the dog Caddy 2.