Arrested COWD employee writes family his ordeal

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Monday, June 23, 2014


WHILE in prison in Cavite, the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) employee whose arrest created controversy and mystery wrote to his family notes detailing the inconsistencies of his apprehension and the timeline of the incident since day one of his arrest on June 11.

The arrest of Emmanuel Mulawan, a COWD senior architectural draftsman, drew attention due to alleged lapses on the conduct of his apprehension.

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro was furnished a scanned copy of Mulawan’s letter to his family which he gave to his lawyer Earl Hans Santos who is based in the city but has an office in Manila.

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In his letter, Mulawan wrote he was arrested inside his office at the Engineering department located at the third floor of COWD in Corrales and Luna streets on June 11.

Upon his arrest, he immediately texted people who he thought could help him, including city mayor Oscar Moreno, his family, and some people from the media.

He told them he has been charged of rape which he denied, the letter read.

Mulawan said he was brought to Gitagum police station escorted by the four arresting police officers.

He overheard that round trip tickets were already prepared for them and that they were to take the first flight the following day, June 12.

“I heard may ticket first flight 7 a.m. round trip PAL – P5,000 each, P50, 000 [all in all],” he wrote.

By 6 a.m. of June 12, he was brought to Laguindingan International Airport by the same officers who arrested him at COWD where he met a lawyer that goes by the last name Pallugna and Edward Tesoro who assured Mulawan that they would help him cover the expenses of his case while they are investigating his arrest.

At the airport, Mulawan noticed a lady who approached the four police officers.

“May isang babae congrats sa mga 4 police officers,” he wrote further.

By 8:30 a.m. on June 12, the plane departed from Laguindingan and arrived in Manila at 10:45 a.m.

“Nakalabas kami airplane nakaposas sa maraming tao parang convicted criminal. Waiting place terminal gate two,” he wrote on his letter.

“Sinundo kami black van private kasi plate number green color at driver wearing black camisendro isang civilian di police,” his letter read.

He noted that one of his arresting officers told him that he was wanted in Imus, Cavite.

“Bakit hindi police patrol nagsundo kung di private black van?” he questioned.

The vehicle, he said, passed through Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Bacoor and in Dasmariñas, where he was detained.

“Police guard on duty told me magbigay ako P10, 000 – P7, 000 VIP payment pero P2,700 bigay [anak, mrs, atty, palugna, police officer]. Bago ipasok ako sa selda turn over cp, pera, rosary, bag, sapatos [no contact ako sa labas lalo na sa pamilya ko]. Malapit ako gulpihin vice mayor selda dahil rape case ang kaso,” he said.

In a June 20 report of another local daily, the four policemen failed to identify the people who called them to serve the warrant of Mulawan's arrest and instead said they got orders from “higher ups.”

The issuance of the travel order by the Philippine National Police-Northern Mindanao (PNP-10) took only 30 minutes of processing, instead of three days as it normally should.

When asked about it, PNP-10 spokesperson Superintendent Michael Pareja said he did not know about the case and could not tell further on the inconsistency of the issuance of the travel order.

“As to the travel order, once the head of the PNP–MisOr endorses, the region immediately approves. That is the PNP procedure,” Pareja said Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro Saturday.

Santos, Mulawan's lawyer, is assisted by lawyer Edgar Cabanlas, a former city councilor, who Moreno instructed to handle Mulawan’s case.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 23, 2014.

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