CEBU NATIVE SLAIN IN NEW ZEALAND

A 56-year-old Cebu-native, who went missing for two days, was found dead in a cemetery near her home in Auckland, New Zealand. Police found the body of Blessie Gotingco, a mother of three, in the bushes of the North Shore cemetery in Birkdale last Monday night. A 27-year-old man was charged with Gotingco’s murder, the New Zealand Herald (NZH) reported. Cebu native Blessie Gotingco slain in New Zealand FOUND. Before the discovery of Blesilda “Blessie” Gotingco's body, her children put up a Facebook page and posted this flyer to gather information on her whereabouts. (From Help Us Find Blesilda Gotingco Facebook page) Filipino migrants' rights organization Migrante Aotearoa president George Misa and national coordinator Dennis Maga condemned Gotingco's death and hope justice would be served to the family of the victim. “We share the fears of the North Shore and the wider community that such a brazen attack against Blessie has happened in what was thought to be a quiet and safe community,” they said in a joint statement. READ MORE...

ALSO: New Zealand cops find body believed to be that of Cebuana

New Zealand media have reported that authorities there have found a body believed to be that of Cebuana Blessie Gotingco, 56, who went missing over the weekend. One News reported that the body was found at a cemetery in North Shore located less than two kilometers away from Gotingco’s house. Authorities have arrested a 27-year-old man from an apartment also near Gotingco’s house. The suspect is expected to be brought to court today for murder charges. The New Zealand Herald also reported that Gotingco’s colleagues at Tower Insurance have been offered grief counseling. Quoting Senior Sgt. Stan Brown, who is heading Operation Lynsey, the New Zealand Herald reportedly yesterday two scene examinations are underway: At a block of apartments in Monte Casino Place, Brikdale where the suspect was arrested and at the cemetery where the body was found. Examination at the cemetery is expected to be completed today but examination at the apartment blocks is expected to take several days. In an interview yesterday afternoon, Gotingco’s father, Max Limcauco, confirmed receiving the report from the New Zealand Police. “We are shocked. Actually, nandito kami ngayon sa Chong-Hua Hospital. I had to admit my wife here para close lang sa doctors (We are shocked. I had to admit my wife to the hospital so she will be watched closely by the doctors),” Limcauco said. He said his wife, Virginia, shook after hearing the development. He said the police told them there was a 99 percent chance that the body found yesterday was that of their daughter. He said the body was examined yesterday and would be shown to Gotingco’s family post-mortem examination. READ MORE...

ALSO: In New Zealand, Blessie's warmth remembered

Auckland woman Blesilda "Blessie" Gotingco is being remembered as someone who warmed people’s hearts with her kindness and laughter. A 27-year-old man charged with her murder is due to appear at North Shore District Court tomorrow. The arrest follows the discovery of a woman’s body at Eskdale Cemetery in Birkdale, Auckland, this morning, which police believe to be Gotingco. Gotingco, 56, went missing on Saturday night after catching a bus home from her work in the city centre. Her Tower Insurance colleague Vanessa Dudley said Gotingco's team of 40 were devastated. "She is the one who always made them laugh. She always had something positive to say." Gotingco had worked for Tower Insurance for 10 years as an insurance consultant in the sales team. She made such an impression on customers that some were calling Tower Insurance to pass on their condolences, Dudley said. "They vividly remember dealing with her and her interaction. That’s just the person she was." Her colleagues are organising a memorial service. "She’s been here 10 years so everyone has got stories to tell." READ MORE...

ALSO: Requiem mass for Blessie Gotingco

Blessie Gotingco will be farewelled next week with a requiem mass, "the greatest honour we can pay", says the priest who will preside over her funeral. Father Craig Dunford said he knew Mrs Gotingco to be a "happy, joyful, beautiful human being" and had been supporting her family since news of her disappearance broke. They were "obviously devastated", he said. "[It was] very difficult for the children when the news first broke. Her husband wasn't here so they had to shoulder the responsibility and the grief initially by themselves. "You don't expect this in New Zealand. We are a very peaceful country and on the whole it's a safe environment. "It is a wake up call I suppose for us all to really appreciate our loved ones, to not take anyone, or anything for granted," Father Dunford said. "We've prepared a funeral for Blessie on Thursday at 1pm and that'll take the shape of a requiem mass, which is, for Catholics, the greatest honour we can pay one of our own." St Mary's Catholic Church in Northcote was the family's spiritual home and Mrs Gotingco was now part of the "communion of saints", he said. Her husband Antonio Gotingco yesterday spoke at a press conference called by the family, and described his wife as a God-fearing, kind, generous, and loving woman. "I can't describe how awful the past few days have been for our family. We are just taking it one step at a time," he said. "She is the light of our home, and without her, we will be lost in darkness. READ MORE....

FROM NEW ZEALAND NEWS

Sombre vigil for Blessie Gotingco

Thousands of people took part in a sombre vigil for murdered Auckland woman Blessie Gotingco last night. The mother of three went missing after taking a bus home from work to the North Shore last Saturday. Her body was found at Birkenhead-Glenfield cemetery, and a 27-year-old man has been charged with her murder. Local people took part in a display showing they're reclaiming the streets last night, walking with candles from a primary school to the cemetery. Most were silent, some recited verses from the Bible. Blessie Gotingco will be farewelled in a requiem mass on Thursday. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS:

Cebu native slain in New Zealand


Cebu native Blessie Gotingco slain in New Zealand FOUND.Before the discovery of Blesilda “Blessie” Gotingco's body, her children put up a Facebook page and posted this flyer to gather information on her whereabouts. (From Help Us Find Blesilda Gotingco Facebook page)

CEBU CITY, JUNE 2, 2014 (SUNSTAR.COM.PH) A 56-year-old Cebu-native, who went missing for two days, was found dead in a cemetery near her home in Auckland, New Zealand.

Police found the body of Blessie Gotingco, a mother of three, in the bushes of the North Shore cemetery in Birkdale last Monday night.

A 27-year-old man was charged with Gotingco’s murder, the New Zealand Herald (NZH) reported.

Filipino migrants' rights organization Migrante Aotearoa president George Misa and national coordinator Dennis Maga condemned Gotingco's death and hope justice would be served to the family of the victim.

“We share the fears of the North Shore and the wider community that such a brazen attack against Blessie has happened in what was thought to be a quiet and safe community,” they said in a joint statement.

Vigilance

“We join the Filipino communities and all families in New Zealand in calling for heightened vigilance,” they added.

Gotingco last spoke to her adult son past 6 p.m. last Saturday to say that she would be leaving her office at Tower Insurance in Auckland City about 7 p.m. to catch a bus home.

Gotingco was an employee at the sales department of the Tower Insurance. Her husband Antonio was visiting the Philippines when she was reported missing to authorities.

A fellow employee said the victim was popular in their workplace because she made them laugh.

Gotingco had functions but she worked mainly as an insurance consultant in the sales team of the company, NZH reported.

Belongings

Some of the victim's belongings, including her cellular phone and shoes, were found on Salisbury Road, about 400 meters from the bus stop where she would have disembarked.

Screams were heard near Gotingco's home after she went missing.

In the Facebook page, “Bring Home Blesilda Gotingco,” several persons expressed sympathy to the victim's family.

Deb Clarke says: “Words seem absolutely inadequate. Rest peacefully.”

Lisa Rigby described the incident as “gut-wrenching and heartbreaking.”

According to NZH, investigators revealed that Gotingco took the 973 bus from Lower Albert Street to Birkdale, North Shore just after 7 p.m. last Saturday.

Police said Gotingco may have boarded a Birkenhead Transport bus at 7:20 p.m. or 7:40 p.m. The bus number would have been 973 or 974. (Sun.Star Cebu)

FROM PHILSTAR

New Zealand cops find body believed to be that of Cebuana By Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) | Updated May 28, 2014 - 12:00am 5 6 googleplus0 0


Photo: Newstalk ZB + Supplied

CEBU, Philippines - New Zealand media have reported that authorities there have found a body believed to be that of Cebuana Blessie Gotingco, 56, who went missing over the weekend.

One News reported that the body was found at a cemetery in North Shore located less than two kilometers away from Gotingco’s house.

Authorities have arrested a 27-year-old man from an apartment also near Gotingco’s house. The suspect is expected to be brought to court today for murder charges.

The New Zealand Herald also reported that Gotingco’s colleagues at Tower Insurance have been offered grief counseling.

Quoting Senior Sgt. Stan Brown, who is heading Operation Lynsey, the New Zealand Herald reportedly yesterday two scene examinations are underway: At a block of apartments in Monte Casino Place, Brikdale where the suspect was arrested and at the cemetery where the body was found.

Examination at the cemetery is expected to be completed today but examination at the apartment blocks is expected to take several days.

In an interview yesterday afternoon, Gotingco’s father, Max Limcauco, confirmed receiving the report from the New Zealand Police.

“We are shocked. Actually, nandito kami ngayon sa Chong-Hua Hospital. I had to admit my wife here para close lang sa doctors (We are shocked. I had to admit my wife to the hospital so she will be watched closely by the doctors),” Limcauco said.

He said his wife, Virginia, shook after hearing the development.

He said the police told them there was a 99 percent chance that the body found yesterday was that of their daughter. He said the body was examined yesterday and would be shown to Gotingco’s family post-mortem examination.

“Very slim nalang yung chance na hindi yun ang daughter ko,” he said.

“Maybe, he is an addict dahil hindi ‘yan usually nangyayari sa New Zealand (Maybe he is an addict because this does not usually happen in New Zealand),” he said, referring to the suspect.

Limcauco commended the efforts of the New Zealand police, describing them as ‘very efficient.’

In an earlier interview with The Freeman, Limcauco said he never imagined something brutal would happen in New Zealand, so much so to her daughter.

“I never imagined that it happened in New Zealand because I’ve been there many times. How come it happened to my daughter nga very peaceful man didto nga place? (I never imagined that it happened in New Zealand because I’ve been there many times. How come it happened to my daughter when the place is very peaceful?)” he added.

He said his daughter has always been “jolly and hardworking.”

“Personally, wala akong alam na nakaaway niya pero marami talaga siyang clients doon (I’m not aware personally if she has enemies but she has many clients there),” Max said.

Gotingco is the eldest of six children and her siblings flew to New Zealand Monday upon hearing the news. Gotingco’s husband who was in Cebu to supervise the construction of their house here flew ahead last Sunday.

Gotingco was last heard from 6:21 p.m. on Saturday informing his adult son that she would leave her job at 7 p.m. to catch a bus home. However, her daughter who arrived home Sunday dawn could not find her mother, prompting the children to report her disappearance to the Waitemata Police.

Gotingco’s daughter managed to track her mother’s mobile phone via its built-in locator system and found the phone a short distance from their house in Salisbury Road, Birkdale. There, the daughter found her mother’s personal belongings./JMO (FREEMAN)

FROM STUFF.CO.NZ

Blessie's warmth remembered MARIKA HILL AND JOSH FAGAN Last updated 18:24 27/05/2014
 


BLESILDA GOTINCO, 56

A man has been arrested and charged with murder in the disappearance of Auckland woman Blesilda "Blessie" Gotingco.


CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZZoom Police forensics at Birkdale cemetery where a body was discovered during the investigation into the disappearance of Blesilda Gotingco.

Auckland woman Blesilda "Blessie" Gotingco is being remembered as someone who warmed people’s hearts with her kindness and laughter.

A 27-year-old man charged with her murder is due to appear at North Shore District Court tomorrow.

The arrest follows the discovery of a woman’s body at Eskdale Cemetery in Birkdale, Auckland, this morning, which police believe to be Gotingco.

Gotingco, 56, went missing on Saturday night after catching a bus home from her work in the city centre.

Her Tower Insurance colleague Vanessa Dudley said Gotingco's team of 40 were devastated.

"She is the one who always made them laugh. She always had something positive to say."

Gotingco had worked for Tower Insurance for 10 years as an insurance consultant in the sales team.

She made such an impression on customers that some were calling Tower Insurance to pass on their condolences, Dudley said.

"They vividly remember dealing with her and her interaction. That’s just the person she was."

Her colleagues are organising a memorial service. "She’s been here 10 years so everyone has got stories to tell."

Earlier today, Tower chief executive David Hancock said the company was "close-knit", and Gotingco was a trusted member of the team.

An employee-assistance programme was available to help distressed staff.

"Our thoughts are obviously with everyone."

'FRIENDLY NATURE'

Thousands of people, including friends, workmates and family, have expressed their sadness on Facebook pages set up for Gotingco.

"Blessie always warmed my day with her sweet, friendly nature when we worked together," former colleague Czerina Kirkwood wrote.

Before the discovery of the body, Gotingco’s sister-in-law, Claire Nacario Limcangco, had been asking for people to pray for her safe return.

Detective Senior Sergeant Stan Brown said the family have asked for privacy while they grieve.

"Our thoughts are with Blessie's family at this very difficult time and their ongoing care and welfare is paramount," he said.

Police have searched the apartment of the man arrested for Gotingco’s murder.

Neighbour Wendy Darke said other residents heard police raid the apartment on Monte Cassino Place in Birkdale about 5.30am.

All the recycling and rubbish bins were out for collection day, she said.

"The police were going through our rubbish and recycling with a fine tooth comb," she said.

Officers in full-body hazard suits could be seen around the apartment for the entire day.

It would take several days to carry out the scene examination at the address, police said.

Police also remained at Eskdale Cemetery after cordoning off the area late last night.

FROM ODT.COM.NZ

Requiem mass for Blessie Gotingco Home » News » National Fri, 30 May 2014
 


Blessie Gotingco
 
Blessie Gotingco will be farewelled next week with a requiem mass, "the greatest honour we can pay", says the priest who will preside over her funeral.
Father Craig Dunford said he knew Mrs Gotingco to be a "happy, joyful, beautiful human being" and had been supporting her family since news of her disappearance broke.

They were "obviously devastated", he said.

"[It was] very difficult for the children when the news first broke. Her husband wasn't here so they had to shoulder the responsibility and the grief initially by themselves.

"You don't expect this in New Zealand. We are a very peaceful country and on the whole it's a safe environment.

"It is a wake up call I suppose for us all to really appreciate our loved ones, to not take anyone, or anything for granted," Father Dunford said.

"We've prepared a funeral for Blessie on Thursday at 1pm and that'll take the shape of a requiem mass, which is, for Catholics, the greatest honour we can pay one of our own."

St Mary's Catholic Church in Northcote was the family's spiritual home and Mrs Gotingco was now part of the "communion of saints", he said.

Her husband Antonio Gotingco yesterday spoke at a press conference called by the family, and described his wife as a God-fearing, kind, generous, and loving woman.

"I can't describe how awful the past few days have been for our family. We are just taking it one step at a time," he said.

"She is the light of our home, and without her, we will be lost in darkness.

"Right now, we are just trying to pretend that everything is ok, but deep inside, we are broken-hearted."

He thanked all those who had reached out to them.

"We have neighbours we never knew, putting notes in our letterbox, offering services to us [from] cleaning our house to cooking us dinner."

Mrs Gotingco's oldest son John said his mother's death was a "national tragedy".

Waitemata police district spokeswoman Beth Bates said no further details of the police investigation into Mrs Gotingco's death would be released, and declined to comment on whether a weapon had been found.

A post-mortem examination had been completed, but the details would not be made public, she said.

Birkdale residents were planning a memorial march for Blessie tomorrow, one week from the night Mrs Gotingco disappeared.

One of the march organisers, who only wanted to be identified as Kerrin, said marchers would meet at Birkdale Primary School on Salisbury Rd at 8pm.

The Gotingco family were "very supportive and thankful" the march was taking place, she said.

"Really it's just a peaceful walk for us to think about the loss of a woman's life in our community and for us to reclaim our streets."

Supporters would walk along Salisbury Rd then Eskdale Rd and finally up to Birkenhead cemetery.

Marchers are asked to wear Blessie's favourite colour, green, and bring torches, lanterns, candles and flowers. All are welcome. - By Brendan Manning of APNZ -APNZ


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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