From the very start of their ordeal, Philippine Tribune has been very supportive to the Cabides family. Young Joel Cabides, an exchange student from the Philippines, suffered irreversible damage to his spine when asked to play in a supervised game of basketball inside the Royal Military College in Duntroon. The accident happened in January 2007. Being completely paralysed from the neck down, he is now condemned for life in a wheelchair. According to reliable sources, the family has filed a court suit for compensation. We make no further comments on the issue of compensation because the matter is now sub judice.
But the family has also sought permanent residence in Australia based on the belief that sending him back to the Philippines would result in a life-threatening situation. At the moment, he continues to receive good medical attention at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick. Such facilities do not appear to be available in his home country.
On that premise, a family member wrote a letter to former Prime Minister John Howard, asking for ministerial intervention that would allow them to stay in Australia, Nothing further was heard from the family except a request not to make any more publication.
However, Philippine Tribune received an email from a certain Roberto Corpuz, Deacon Elect from the Diocese of Broken Bay. In his email, Deacon Corpuz claimed to have received a letter from former Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews. The letter (dated November 13, 2007), stated that permanent residence has been granted to the Cabides family. The Deacon also furnished Philippine Tribune a copy of a news article published in the Pastoral Care Ministry website of the Filipino Chaplaincy in Chatswood. A copy of the article appears in this issue of Philippine Tribune.
This claim of an immigrant’s visa for the Cabides family is strengthened by a recent statement received from a spokesman of the Department of Immigration. The department spokesman confirmed that “the immigration status of the Cabides family has been resolved and that Christmas will be a happy one for them.”
Philippine Tribune is just as happy and wishes them all the best in their pursuit for just compensation. Joel Cabides certainly paid dearly for whatever amount they hope to receive. – DMC