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A grieving brother's words

Following the controversial sentencing of Tyler Jack Newton in the stabbing death of Caesar Rosales, Rosales' brother has provided Castanet with his victim impact statement.

Darwin Rosales says his entire family has been let down by the Canadian justice system, after his brother’s killer was given a seven-year sentence Friday for the unprovoked slaying.

Caesar, 55, was stabbed in the neck from behind by Tyler Newton on a Kelowna bus behind the Dilworth Shopping Centre on Oct. 30, 2014.

Rosales bled out on the bus, dying before paramedics could arrive.

Justice Heather Holmes gave Newton a seven-year sentence for the attack, after Newton pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Wednesday.

Verbatim segments of Darwin's Victim Impact Statement can be found below:

With Caesar's death, I did not only lose a brother, I lost a best friend. We have a lot of things in common. For the things we enjoy, dislike and stood for.

We used to play a lot together when we were little kids having only two years age gap between us.

On that fateful day, when that phone call came to our home in the Philippines from his estranged wife in Vancouver, my first reaction was that of disbelief. The narration as to what happened was sketchy, but I was told the details would appear in Google.

When I hung up, I really couldn't find the words to break the news to my mother and sister who were close by me since they heard my part of the conversation as something strange going on. When I finally gathered the strength, I told them that Caesar is gone and the circumstances by which his life ended. Watching my mother's face, I thought she would collapse right away, but she managed to walk to the bathroom crying as I followed right behind her. Inside the bathroom, I could hear her screaming and shouting repeatedly the very basic of all questions, WHY?

My mother has been through a whole lot ever since me and my siblings were little kids. We were poor, but my parents, especially my mother, make sure we all go through college.

[Caesar] was attracted and chose to migrate to Canada a decade and a half ago for everything that is offer its citizens. He went through the legal and meritocratic system of migration.

Even during his lowest points in life, our family back in the Philippines never heard of any regrets from him on his choice of migrating. He was so reassuring that everything is well and fine and that nothing can go wrong. So our family picked on that enthusiasm and assurances, after all they were founded on facts and figures based on statistical data.

It is from the huge difference between expectation and the reality of the tragedy comes the greatest emotional devastation. Nothing has really prepared our family for what happened.

Mama and I had visited Caesar in Vancouver in early October of 2010. After 12 years being away from the Philippines, the same length of time me two other siblings haven't seen him. Caesar was scheduled to come back for Christmas of 2014. Barely two months before what was supposed to be a happy reunion, his life was cut short.

Mama goes to church every day about a kilometre away from home. She takes a tricycle, like a cab on three wheels. Before Caesar's death she went all by herself without any problem. After Caesar's death I have to go with her. Not only was she a devout Catholic, she hangs on to divine providence to cope with the most tragic event she was made to face.

As months after Caesar's death went by, Mama's health deteriorated. She had a few falls from loss of balance, she was careful enough to protect her head each time. One time she hit her head real bad and a nasty head bump immediately appeared.

I had to take care and keep watch over her all the time such that I have to postpone a lot of preparation for my film making project which impeded my capacity to make a living and launch my online business as I also await the trail dates.

Mama never recovered nor was able to move on from the tragic incident. I thought she would collapse right after learning of Caesar's death. According to my sister who sleeps close by, my mother would wake up in the middle of the night in tears clasping her rosary. If its any consolation, she had 14 more months to live and be with us before she finally succumb to myocardial infarction before my very eyes.

What pains me most this time and God knows for how long into the future, is the thought that my mother had not seen the day of dawn that justice is done on her son's death. A son is supposed to bury a mother and not the other way around. I hope that wth the foregoing narration I did justice to the pain Caesar's untimely death brought to our family, especially my mother.

– Darwin Rosales, June 8, 2016.  

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