THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested the other day (March 9) a Japanese national for allegedly “sleeping” with a minor inside a motel room here in the city.
Yoshio Morino, 69, from Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, told reporters that he did not know that the girl was a minor and apologized for it.
NBI agents went to Room 406 of Queensland Motel, Arcadio Maxilom St. in Barangay Careta, Cebu City, at 3:30 p.m., and found Morino with the 15-year-old girl.
Agents turned the girl over to the social worker and to her parents in Naga City where the victim lives.
Morino signed a waiver yesterday, freeing the NBI from liability for arbitrary detention as he will be detained at the NBI stockade without charges.
Prosecutor II Mario Ley Gidayawan gave the suspect’s counsel Roberto Arendain to submit a counter-affidavit before or not later than March 21.
Sun.Star Cebu is withholding the girl’s name as she is a minor.
The NBI agent handling the case, lawyer Donaver Inesin, said they are now preparing a case of rape in connection with Child Abuse Law or Republic Act 7610, and violation of Expanded Anti-Human Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 or Republic Act (RA) 10364.
Morino, a retired chef and a widow from Setagaya Ward in Tokyo and who arrived the country one and a half month ago, said the girl stated in profile picture that she was 19 years old.
“She told me that if you buy me a new cellphone I’m gonna be your girlfriend,” Morino remembers the girl telling him when they met.
The Japanese tourist admitted having sex with the girl, believing that she is already 19 years old.
“But I never forced the girl,” said Morino.
Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who presented the suspect yesterday in a press conference, said Morino befriended the girl through social media and arranged a meeting in Talisay City, Mandaue City and Cebu City.
Inesin said the two first saw each other last Feb. 23 in a mall in Talisay City.
She said the suspect then brought the 15-year-old girl to a motel in Mandaue City, but nothing happened between them that time.
“Pagka-February 25, didto na siya (that was when it happened), forced against her will, consummated gyud, (and) were looking at a rape case,” said Inesin, and this reportedly happened in the suspect’s rented room at City Seascape in Mandaue City.
After their meeting the victim told her parents what happened and they sought the help of the Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC), whose co-chair is Magpale.
When the suspect met the victim again last March 9, the victim’s parents alarmed the NBI. When the suspect and victim took a cab, NBI operatives on motorcycle followed them until they checked in a motel.
Inesin gathered from the victim that the suspect created an account “Filipino cupid dot com.”
“So we could assume that her friends (victims) are also using the same website, although we cannot go further nga abuse pud sila,” said Inesin.
The victim said she went with him just for fun.
Magpale said they will visit schools and inform teachers and students on the dangers of visiting suspicious websites.
She admitted an increase in the number of abuse victims.
The PWC, co-chaired by Magpale, is composed of law enforcers from NBI and PNP; prosecutor’s office; medical and psychology professionals and Capitol officials.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 11, 2016.
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