EMPLOYEES of the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) who are members of First Labor Organization of Cagayan de Oro Water District (Flow) offered prayers on Friday as their way of helping their co-worker Emmanuel Mulawan who was recently arrested and brought to the Regional Trial Court, Branch 20 of Imus, Cavite, to face the rape case filed against him.

Massing outside the COWD building along Corrales street, Mulawan’s co-workers, who wore black shirts, prayed for his safety inside the jail.

Mulawan was ‘abruptly’ arrested by police on Wednesday morning at his office and brought to Cavite on June 12. Read related story here

“These prayers are for him. What we are doing now is a support to him of whatever challenge he is facing now,” said Anna (not her real name) one of the employees at COWD.

Flow president Antonio Young said that they need a lot of support and attention from media groups and other civil organizations “to add more aid that will help ensure Emmanuel’s safety in Imus through constant monitoring of the issue.”

Putting the pieces together

The arrest was made by virtue of a warrant of arrest dated September 20, 2013 and signed by assistant Judge Josefina E. Siscar.

Young added that the case was filed on June 21, 2013 but they [employees] can attest that Mulawan was present at work on that day.

“We checked our human resource department [to determine if he was] present or not at the said date. But he was really around at that time. We logged in and out through a biometrics machine so there can be no way that he was there where the alleged rape took place,” he said.

A guard who does not want to be named and witnessed Mulawan’s arrest said, “When the four police officers came to our office, only one, PO3 Obsioma, signed in our logbook where they surrendered their firearms. We asked them what their purpose was but they only said ‘naa lang mi’y tuyo sa sulod’ without further explanation.”

“When they came out, they were escorting sir Mulawan already. We thought they were just friends. They crossed the street walking toward the police car and there he read the paper. We did not notice them handcuffing Mulawan until he suddenly raised his arms, then we thought he was going to jail,” the guard said.

The arrest only took 10 minutes, he added.

‘It’s personal’

The management of COWD, however, said that Mulawan’s case is a personal one and couldn't be associated with the company.

“His case does not involve the company at all, it is a personal one. So we could not comment on what the company can do to help,” COWD spokesperson Ladele Sagrado told this paper Friday.

“If the court will ask the company for documents that will help his case, we will definitely give them. But we are only up to that. The prayer rally was conducted by Flow, not COWD,” Sagrado added.

“The employees here were shocked at first, and then sympathized, of course. We just hope that he will be given due process,” she furthered.

As of 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro received a text message from Mulawan’s elder son, Emmanuel II, saying that his father was already at the Regional Trial Court Branch 19 in Imus, Cavite and asked for a lawyer to help him.

When he arrived in Manila, Emmanuel II said he was detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology first before his father was transferred to Cavite jail.

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro tried to see lawyer Edgar Cabanlas to get update, but failed.