Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Girl rescued at Haran a rape victim: police

THE Davao Police Regional Office (PRO) confirmed on Wednesday that a 14 year-old minor, one of the lumad evacuees who were rescued inside the UCCP Haran last July 23, was a rape victim.

Superintendent Aaron Aquino, deputy regional director for operations (DRO) of PRO-Davao, said that the rape victim, whose name was withheld for being a minor, underwent medical examinations and they are just waiting for the summary report from the social workers before filing appropriate charges.

"Hindi na kelangan ng penetration for it to be considered as an act of rape. By just touching it, it already constitutes rape, Aquino told reporters during Wednesday's AFP-PNP press forum held Wednesday morning at The Royal Mandaya Hotel (TRMH).

The rape victim was initially rescued by authorities and was transferred to the custody of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) during the said rescue operation last July 23.

"Nung una hindi pa natin alam na rape victim siya, it was only after she was interviewed by the social workers that she testified that she was a rape victim," Aquino said.

"We will try to file the cases this week against the alias Galut and alias Daniel," Aquino said.

He added that the specific case that will be filed against the two suspects is the Republic Act (RA) 8353, otherwise known as the Anti-Rape Law of 1997.

But Aquino did not confirm if the rape suspects are members of the military units based in Talaingod.

"I don't know if they are soldiers," Aquino added.

Colonel Eduardo B. Gubat, spokesperson for the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), in a separate statement, said that they are also concerned about the rape issue and are willing to cooperate with the investigation if indeed the suspects are their own comrades on the field.

"Gusto din naming malaman kung ano talaga ang nangyari at malabas yung katotohanan," Gubat said.

"We are still verifying if the suspects are military members," he added.

Aquino said the rape incident took place in Barangay Palma Gil in Talaingod.

The rape victim is now under the custody of the Talaingod Mayor and local authorities for further protection.
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