Rape, shooting mar Maundy Thursday

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Sunday, March 31, 2013


TWO of the three suspects arrested on Good Friday for sexually abusing a child will be charged with rape, an official of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) said Sunday.

Senior Inspector Lemuel Gonda, chief of Cocpo’s operations and plans, said the police will press charges today, Monday, against suspects Marjun Centorias, 20, single; and Clifford Hernan alias “Ipoy,” 23, both residents in a barangay here in the city.

Gonda said both Centorias and Hernan were accused of raping a two-year-old girl. The police belonging to the Cogon Police station arrested the suspects.

In a radio report Sunday, Centorias admitted he was with Hernan and a certain Jojo, a native of Cotabato, in a drinking spree after they received their salaries as construction workers.

Jojo, the main suspect, is now in hiding.

“Nag-inom man mi adto sugod alas 3 sa hapon paingon sa kaadlawon. Si Jojo man nagdala sa bata,” Centorias said in a radio interview while inside the Cocpo detention cell on Easter Sunday.

He even related that Jojo broke into the house of the girl and brought her at a grassy area where the incident took place.

Centorias said he did not see Jojo raped the child. He also denied the accusation, but admitted he served as lookout at the time of the incident. The victim is confined in one of the hospitals in the city.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Northern Mindanao said the Holy Week commemoration was generally peaceful.

“Except for the shooting incident in Libertad town, Misamis Oriental, the security preparation for the Holy Week in Region 10 was successful,” said Police Superintendent Francis Cariaga, PNP-Northern Mindanao spokesperson.

The shooting incident, Cariaga said, took place inside the formation center at the back of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente church in Libertad where two suspected gunmen killed one person and injured four others.

The fatality was identified as Sofronio Bombeo. Those injured were Felixberto Villarin, Lucita Ceballos, Cristine Mae Poblete, Santos Acain and Mark Juliada. They were all rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Reports said they had just finished the re-enactment of Jesus Christ's last supper with the apostles, and they were preparing for dinner at the formation center when two men fired several shots hitting the victims.

Based on initial investigation, the suspect had an old grudge against Bombeo. Investigation of the tragic incident is still ongoing, Cariaga said.

Bishop Rudy Juliada of the IFI church in Libertad said he and the victims had dinner when suddenly a gunman shot Bombeo from the window.

“Bombeo ran toward the door but another man shot him as he approached the door. There was a volley of fire that hit the others who were on the table,” Bishop Juliada narrated in a telephone interview.

The police recovered empty shells of 9mm caliber and .38 caliber pistols at the crime scene.

Juliada said Bombeo was targeted in that shooting incident since there was an attempt on Bombeo’s life earlier in March in his house in Barangay Taytayan also in Libertad.

Juliada recalled that Bombeo he could not remember any grudge involving the victim except for a land dispute.

Juliada said the shooting inside the church compound had greatly affected the church’s observance of the Holy Week since few people attended the activities at the church on Good Friday.

“They feared for their safety. The boldness of the attackers to commit the crime in the compounds of the church is unforgivable. It’s barbaric,” Juliada said.

Juliada urged the local government of Libertad to order its police to investigate and bring the attackers to justice. (With a report from Bobby E. Lagsa, Correspondent)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 01, 2013.

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