'I'm sorry for not being there... I wasn't able to help Jastine'
'Jastine like a sister to me – I will never forget her'
The best friend of tragic Jastine Valdez has described the young woman as “like a sister” to her, in an emotional tribute.
Jill Ordonez told the Irish Independent that she had known Jastine (24) for 12 years and said she’ll always have great memories of her good friend. Ms Ordonez – who lives in the Philippines – said “I love her so much” when speaking about Jastine, who was murdered last weekend. The two friends had been inseparable back in the Philippines, before Jastine moved to Ireland around three years ago.
“This is hard for me since Jastine is not just a best friend to me but a sister.
“I just want to thank her for the 12 years of laughter, sisterly love and true friendship. I’m sorry for not being there when this painful tragedy happened to her, I wasn’t able to help her.”
Jastine’s home town of Aritao in the Philippines has been rocked by the news of her murder.
After the reposal of Jastine’s remains in Bray, Co Wicklow, it is expected that a repatriation process will begin at the start of next week, as she returns to the Philippines to be laid to rest in the company of her friends and family. Almost €130,000 has been raised in order to support her family on a GoFundMe page over the past five days.
Meanwhile, the circumstances of killer Mark Hennessy’s death are being investigated.
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission has appointed a Cork-based team of investigators to look into the circumstances of Hennessy’s death.
As both Hennessy and his victim Ms Valdez are dead there will be no criminal inquiry. Instead, the Garda investigation will inform the inquests.