Winnipeg: Sponsored Filipino Mario Ronquillo Valdez charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Catherine Gastador


Uncle accused in niece’s slaying
‘Why did he do that to us, to my daughter?’: Dad
By ROSS ROMANIUK, QMI Agency

Charito (left) and Eduardo Gastador adopted homicide victim Catherine as a baby. They sponsored Valdez’s emigration to Canada.

A Winnipeg father is struggling to understand not only why his daughter was stabbed to death, but how the man accused of killing her could be a relative he helped enter Canada from the Philippines to live a better life.

After Mario Ronquillo Valdez was charged in Tuesday’s slaying of Catherine Gastador, 23, at her Wolseley condominium, the victim’s father, Eduardo Gastador, suggested that the questions are nearly as much of a burden as the tragedy itself.

He said the 36-year-old Valdez — a brother of his wife Charito Gastador, and Catherine’s uncle through adoption — might not have come to Canada in the early 1980s if it hadn’t been for his sponsorship in the immigration process.

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A three-year protection order was granted to Catherine Gastador in February 2007 to keep Valdez away from her. Though police announced Friday that they had arrested a suspect in her slaying, they didn’t release his name till Saturday.

Valdez is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Catherine Gastador, whom police confirm died of multiple stab wounds and other upper-body injuries.

He remains in custody and is also charged with failing to comply with conditions of a recognizance in an unrelated matter.

Other questions swirling around the Gastador family include why Catherine had applied to have the protection order withdrawn about five months after it was issued — and why Valdez has apparently been living at the same Preston Avenue condo complex as her while allegedly telling some people that they were a couple.

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