SUSUPE, Saipan – It’s been three months since the disappearance of a 47-year-old Filipino draftsman in the US island of Saipan but his wife of 15 years is not giving up hope that he is still alive.
“Sana ang Christmas gift ni Lord sa amin ay makita si Alex (I wish that the Lord’s Christmas gift to us is to be able to find Alex)," Maria Luisa Fatima “Marilou" Matubis told GMANews.TV on Friday night.
Her husband, Alex Matubis, has been reported missing since July 29 on Saipan, the capital of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) where some 10,000 Filipinos and Filipino-Americans work and live.
“Umaasa pa rin ako na buhay siya (I am still hoping he’s alive)," she added.
Members of the Filipino community on Saipan led by the United Workers Movement NMI and the Marianas Association of Filipino Engineers and Architects, along with private businesses, have been raising funds to help support the family of the missing worker.
Mrs. Matubis flew to Saipan on Sept. 7 to personally appeal for help to locate her husband, who had been working on the island as a draftsman and surveyor for almost 23 years.
On Nov. 27, she will return to the Philippines but she is not giving up the fight.
She said she will find work to support her two daughters in Laguna – a nursing student and a high school student.
“Alam kong gagawa si God ng paraan para makita namin si Alex (I know that God will make a way for us to find Alex)," she said.
Mrs. Matubis said she’s thankful for the support of the Filipino community on Saipan in finding her husband and for raising funds to help her and her children survive until she finds a job. She said relatives are also helping her and her children.
Irene Tantiado, a worker’s rights advocate and president of United Workers Movement NMI, said police have yet to have a solid lead or new information besides the Aug. 16 discovery of the pickup truck that Matubis was last seen driving.
“I am disappointed that after three months, there’s still no solid information as to what happened to him," said Tantiado, who has been hosting Mrs. Matubis on Saipan.
Tantiado, of Cebu, said pieces of information so far gathered may indicate that Alex Matubis is alive.
She said on the day of his reported disappearance on July 29, he withdrew $500 from First Hawaiian Bank. His credit card transaction report, according to Tantiado, indicates two separate withdrawals of $500 each after July 29. Early this year, Alex Matubis bought a life insurance, Tantiado said.
The disappearance of Matubis remains a puzzle to the Filipino community on Saipan, which is about three hours away from Manila by plane. There have been no immigration records indicating that Alex Matubis departed the CNMI. - GMANews.TV