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Robert Alejandro opens up about being defrauded by own caregiver while battling colon cancer

By Melanie Uson Published Jan 17, 2024 7:14 pm

Robert Alejandro was defrauded by his caregiver for two months, where he lost nearly three million of his life savings while battling colon cancer. 

The artist-former TV host revealed via his support page, “Kuya Robert’s Healing Journey,” his recent unfortunate encounter with his caregiver who “stole [his] life savings.” 

“I am blessed to know that the truest treasures are friends and family that show unconditional love. This I learned as I live with colon cancer, and this December, my caregiver stole my life savings (he would drug me and get the money through my phone). In two months, my life savings were gone,” his previous feature read, as reposted on the Facebook page. 

In an exclusive interview with PhilSTAR L!fe, Alejandro, who has been battling colon cancer since 2016, shared that he had two caregivers, with the second one—who cannot be identified yet—hired in late October 2023.

He described their relationship as strictly a caregiver-patient bond. 

“Caregiver lang talaga. Dalawa sila nagrerelyebo. I can honestly say, itong si [second caregiver,] ‘di siya marunong. ‘Di kagaya nung isa naming caregiver, magaling talaga,” he recalled, adding that he met the caregiver as he was recommended by his doctor. 

He added that during the time, he was “in and out of the hospital” so he wasn't able to use his mobile phone that much.

“Naging caregiver ko siya since mga October, tapos in and out of the hospital po ako so hindi ko na ginagamit ‘yung phone ko, parating nasa kama lang ako, natutulog,” he told L!fe. 

Alejandro thought everything was normal until he got an alarming notification from his bank in mid-December about the unusual transactions from his account.  

“Tapos mga December, meron akong notification from [bank] na ginamit ‘yung phone ko para bumili sa Amazon pero hindi ko naman [‘yun] ginawa, so tumawag ako sa [bank] para sabihin na hindi ako ‘yung gumawa,” he said, recalling how he discovered his bank account was all drained out. 

“Doon ko nalaman na almost three million ‘yung savings ko, ang natira na lang 81 pesos,” he said. 

Alejandro immediately went to the bank to know more about the transactions and learned that they were made from his phone. They later discovered that it was all done by his second caregiver. 

“Nung tinanong namin ‘yung [bank] [about] sa mga transactions, nakita na ginagamit ‘yung phone ko para sa mga transactions,” he told L!fe, adding that the people present in his residence were just him, his partner, a helper, and the two caregivers. 

“Nung pumunta na kami [sa bank], nakita po ‘yung mga transactions; Nandon ‘yung pangalan ng asawa [ng caregiver] na ginagamit ‘yung phone ko, [at] yung pera pumupunta po sa account niya,” he recalled. 

The award-winning graphic artist added that he didn’t see any signs of the deed, but noted how weak he was at the time he was being taken care of by the said caregiver.

“Matalino siya,” he said in disbelief. “Wala akong kaalam-alam paano niya ginawa.” 

“Wala ako–wala kaming kamalay-malay na ganon ‘yung ginagawa niya. Tapos ayun, nararamdaman ko nga na parang nanghihina ako nung siya yung caregiver ko, parang parati akong tulog,” he said. 

Taking legal action

His legal counsel, Atty. Kit Belmonte shared with L!fe that Alejandro first filed the report to the police in mid-December and that they are still gathering evidence to file a case for preliminary investigation by next week. 

“Nag co-coordinate kami with the pulis now at ng prosecutor’s office para sisimsimin namin yung complaints at mga documentations, tapos mag fo-formal filing kami soon,” Belmonte said.   

“Evil talaga ‘tong ginawa ng caregiver e. So kailangan namin simsimin para siguradong hindi na ulit mangyari 'to sa other people,” he added.

Alejandro said that he’s still worried that the caregiver might do the crime to others, especially when he isn't detained yet. 

“Hindi siya naka-detain, ‘yun nga ‘yung takot namin na baka ginagawa niya sa iba; kasi napakalaking pera ang kinuha sa akin ‘di ba, so siyempre parang negosyo na nila ‘yun e,” he said. 

“Wag na niyang gawin,” he stressed.” Napakamasama ng ginagawa niya; hindi lang pera kundi ‘yung buhay. Imagine, hirap na hirap na nga ako sa aking kalagayan, hirap na hirap kaming lahat na buhayin ako sa ospital tapos ‘yun yung gagawin niya? Parang hindi dapat, ‘di ba? Parang nakakapangilabot.” 

He also wanted to warn the public to be cautious in interacting with and trusting anyone to prevent the same crime from happening. 

“Ang importante po na dapat mag-ingat tayo sa mga pinapapasok natin sa bahay, pinagkakatiwalaan, dapat mag-ingat po tayo," he stressed.

Looking back, Alejandro added that he can only hope for the rightful process of the case. He added that he couldn't be more grateful for the support from his friends and family. 

“May kausap kaming mga abogado, sila na ang bahala. Kasi ako, halos wala na akong magawa. Pero nagpapasalamat ako sa mga kaibigan ko at pamilya sa suporta, mas mahalaga po ‘yun sa ‘kin kaysa ‘yung pera,” he said.

Alejandro is an artist and production designer of long-standing stationery and gift shop Papemelroti. He also hosted a GMA 7’s award-winning kids’ art show dubbed Art is-Kool in 2002.  

Despite his colon cancer diagnosis in 2016, he remained active in doing workshops like the iShine Art camp in Quezon City in 2018, as well as giving talks in museums and schools. 

In August 2023, he was one of the awardees in the University of the Philippines Alumni Association for his exceptional work in arts. He now updates his followers about his life happenings via his support page.