Touch the Colour
Two sisters are serving life in prison for keeping a missing boy. The law says it is kidnapping while they claim were ensuring the boy is safe. After 18 years, a chance for parole is offered on the condition that the mother of the boy meets them and grant forgiveness.
Licad is a toy vendor in a public market in Manila. In her 40s, she found a two-year-old boy lost in the crowd. Not knowing what to do with the boy, she decided to keep him for a while thinking someone would pick him up.
No one showed up for months.
After one year, Licad goes home to Marawi, Mindanao, for Ramadan. Her hometown is 1,500 kilometers away from Manila. She wanted to leave the boy with fellow vendors and the police, but wild stories on how abandoned kids are sent to youth detention centers alarmed her.
The boy has also grown close to Licad over time. One day, Licad’s sister Raga saw a newspaper ad about a missing boy with features similar to the boy her sister has been keeping.
Licad immediately calls the number and the mother—Teresa Basario asked if they can meet in a church to pick up her son. Licad neededsome time to raise the money to be able to return to Manila. Something was misunderstood in the phone conversation. Teresa contacted Licad again saying she and her family will just fly to Licad’s place to pick up the boy.
Licad called her sister Raga to join her in returning the boy. As soon as the mother got hold of her son, the two sisters were arrested for child kidnapping and obstruction of justice. After the trial, Licad and Raga were sentenced to lifetime imprisonment.
Licad and Raga lost everything. They have been inside prison for 18 years now with no access to see their families.
This Christmas, under a new President, their papers are being reviewed for a possible parole on one condition: that the mother of the boy agrees to meet and grant forgiveness.