Just sleeping, not missing

By: Ador Vincent Mayol April 18,2018 - 11:17 PM


OFTEN exposed to stress and pressure, lawyers must find relief somewhere.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu Province chapter is finding ways to reach out and help lawyers who are laden with anxiety.

“We want to find solutions to help our members and friends in the profession deal with stress and pressure arising from different environments especially from work,” lawyer Mundlyn Misal-Martin, IBP Cebu Province Chapter president, told Cebu Daily News.

“We will discuss this with the board,” she added.

The move was made after one of its members, lawyer Sarah Cabrera-Calipayan, was reported missing for 12 hours by her husband, also a lawyer, only to find out that she got drunk and slept at a hotel in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City.

Chief Insp. Maria Theresa Macatangay, commander of Police Station 2 in Cebu City that responded to the missing person report, said Sarah confided to her that she suffered from depression and anxiety, prompting her to intoxicate herself on Tuesday night before she checked in a hotel near the Banilad Town Center (BTC).

“She drank heavily last night. She chose not to go home, and not to talk to anyone. She was too drunk to go home and drive her car,” Macatangay said in an interview shortly after she talked to Sarah who just turned 33 last April 13.

“Intense depression and anxiety will cause a person to do unimaginable things. We don’t blame anyone.

We’re just happy that things turned out to be well,” she added.

Sarah surfaced at the parking lot of BTC at 11:50 a.m. on Wednesday, nearly ten hours after her husband reported her missing on Facebook and sought netizens’ help in the search for his wife. She arrived just as the police were about to force open her car that she left at the BTC parking lot.

Her husband, lawyer Jamaal James Calipayan, upon seeing her walking towards her car, hugged her tightly as they both cried.

They did not issue any statement to the media and went out of the parking lot on board a white van.

Work-related stress

Jamaal, in an interview an hour before his wife surfaced, said Sarah had problems with her work at a real estate company in Cebu where she worked as legal officer.

“She had much stress at work. She was very tired already. Accordingly, she didn’t like some people in the company anymore,” said Jamaal, the chief of staff of Rep. Jonas Cortes of Cebu’s sixth district.

Sarah, who passed the Bar Examinations in 2012, tendered her resignation as senior legal counsel of the company last week.

In a message he posted on his Facebook account, Jamaal apologized to the public for whatever inconvenience they caused.

“I am a worrier and its my fault it has escalated but the circumstances warranted that I do everything in my capacity to find the love of my life. I would like to think that any man who loves his woman and vice-versa would have done the same,” said Jamaal, who got married to Sarah in 2012.

“Please do not blame my wife. She’s been through enough and she could use a little positivity rather than trolling from any of us. We are seeking a respite from the public eye as we settle this matter between us. Nothing of this was done intentionally so I hope you will help us get the privacy we once had as a couple.”

What went before

Jamaal said Sarah texted her mom at 11:45 p.m. on Tuesday, saying she was on her way home. It was followed by another text message that read “On my way baby, I love you.”

Jamaal said they found it strange since the text messages were sent to Sarah’s mom and that the lady lawyer didn’t answer calls to her cellular phone.

He said he immediately went to Sarah’s office but the latter was not there. With the help of the Mandaue City Command Center, they were able to trace the signal of Sarah’s cellular phone somwhere in Banilad, Cebu City.

True enough, after hours of search, Jamaal and police investigators found Sarah’s car at the parking lot of the Banilad Town Center at around 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

At around 7 a.m., Jamaal received a text message from Sarah that read “Nakatog ko sa floor sa office. Basin og separation anxiety lang ni tungod kay mo-resign nako. (I just slept in my office. Maybe, I’m suffering from separation anxiety since I am about to resign).”

Case closed

Jamaal went back to Sarah’s office but did not find her. At around 11 a.m., Sarah was seen walking towards her car that she left at the Banilad Town Center where authorities and Jamaal were waiting.

Since Sarah already showed up, Macatangay said the case is now considered closed.

“No more investigation. We’re formally declaring this case to be closed. I don’t see any liability on the part of Atty. Sarah as she was suffering from anxiety. That is an illness. Good that she didn’t commit suicide,” the police official said.

Macatangay refused to dwell on other possible aspects behind Sarah’s disapperance.

“What is clear is she is back, and that is the most important thing,” she said.

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