Noemy Paet Alvendia, sister and widow

The Paet brothers via a video testimony. Photo: Jersey Journal

By Cristina DC Pastor

How does one deal with a tragedy where both victim and accused come from one family?

If you are like Noemy Paet Alvendia, the emotional terrain is fraught with family, community and legal landmines and almost becomes an unnavigable journey. As she mourns the passing of her husband Jeorge, this Jersey City nurse also sees to it that her three brothers — blamed for his death — are in good health and of sound disposition while behind bars.

The Paet brothers – Eliezer, Francis and Wilfred – are awaiting the grand jury presentment later this month, marking the beginning of the trial that will determine if they should be charged with murder for beating Jeorge Alvendia to death with a shovel on December 25, 2011. The presentment usually occurs 90 days from the date of the incident.

“It must be difficult,” Consul Felipe Carino of the Philippine Consulate said when interviewed by The FilAm. “She is, after all, the sister and also the widow.”

Carino, a lawyer, has visited the Paet brothers three times at the Hudson County Jail in Kearny, New Jersey and spoken to Noemy in his capacity as a representative of the consulate’s Assistance to Nationals office. The consulate had offered them legal assistance, but, according to Carino, the brothers “opted to get their own private lawyer, an American.”

The consulate similarly extended the services of a consulate-accredited lawyer to the family of victim Alvendia in Jersey.

“They have not spoken to us directly. Maybe they want their privacy, and we respect that,” Carino added. “They are speaking to us through Noemy.”

Back to that rage-filled Christmas Day. Prosecutors say the brothers “bludgeoned” Alvendia in the garage of his Roosevelt Avenue home over an “ongoing family dispute.” He died of blunt force trauma to the head, his face and ribs smashed in.

Speculation as to the nature of the dispute continues to swirl among Jersey City FilAms, those who deign to who speak in small clusters and in whispers: Were the brothers being evicted from the Alvendia household? Is there a second family in the Philippines? Were all four men boozy from beer and their discussion got heated leading to a fatal end?

The consulate set some facts straight, based on their meetings with Noemy and her brothers.

The three brothers and their minor-age children live with their parents, while Noemy and Jeorge – both U.S. citizens — live in another house. They have been in the U.S. about two years and take on part-time cleaning and maintenance jobs as well as packing-assembly line jobs in New Jersey.

“They have no permanent employment, but they earn enough to support themselves,” Carino said.

Recent immigrants, they have been petitioned by their parents, who are permanent residents. They have valid residence visas, “not yet green cards,” but neither are they out of status.

The brothers are being held in separate units of the jail facility.

“Noemy has been referred to Faldef for legal advice on family law matters concerning the minor children of two of the brothers who are currently in her custody,” said Deputy Consul General Tess Dizon de Vega, who visited them in December. Faldef refers to the Filipino American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a group of lawyers offering pro bono consultations and services.

She said the consulate is assisting Noemy in securing legal representation for possible guardianship over the minor children. “The mothers are back in the Philippines and they don’t want the children to be turned over to social services.”

The consulate will continue to visit the Paet brothers and is monitoring the progress of the case with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, said de Vega.

“We have asked the prison if they could allow a minister from their church to visit them,” she disclosed. “This is already being coordinated by their church with the prison.”

Meantime, the family – meaning their parents, their young children and Noemy – are regular visitors.

“The case has an effect on the family,” said Carino. “They come together, they help out. It’s made them stronger.”



3 Comments

  1. M. Matthews wrote:

    Indeed, a very tragic story about family relationship gone wrong!

  2. anonymous wrote:

    Would you happen to know the date of the trial?

  3. anonymous wrote:

    The consulate similarly extended the services of a consulate-accredited lawyer to the family of victim Alvendia in Jersey.

    “They have not spoken to us directly. Maybe they want their privacy, and we respect that,” Carino added. “They are speaking to us through Noemy.”

    – As a relative of the victim, we have not been informed about anything regarding this case. Also, I don’t respect the idea of everyone thinking that we speak through Noemy. We would also like to know what’s going on.

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