PRO 7 probes Brigada News FM’s interview with minor rape victim

CEBU. The Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO 7) in Cebu City.
CEBU. The Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO 7) in Cebu City.File photo

THE Central Visayas Regional Police Office has ordered an investigation on possible criminal liability of individuals involved in the controversial online interview of Brigada News FM with a minor rape victim from Dumanjug, Cebu.

In a statement, the Police Regional Office 7 clarified that the viral interview of the minor victim by Brigada News FM was conducted within the premises of their residence and not in the Dumanjug police station and also without the consent or knowledge of the police.

It said the sexual abuse allegedly happened on March 8, 2024 and was reported to the police station on March 10, 2024.

The police interviewed the victim on March 11, 2024 in the police station in the presence of the Municipal Social Worker and Development Officer (MSWDO), her mother and aunt, and the school teacher of the minor.

It maintained that the interview was done in accord with the procedures in handling child victims, ensuring confidentiality of the proceedings.

However, it said the minor’s aunt, without the knowledge and consent of the police officer and MSWDO, discreetly took a video during the interview and forwarded it to another person who posted it on social media. The video was later on deleted.

In a separate statement, the Dumanjug Municipal Police Station (MPS) noted that the victim’s mother called up a media personality, whom she personally knew, to report the incident and ask for advice prior to reporting to the police station.

On March 13, Juril Patiño, a lawyer, and Dennes Tabar, anchors of Brigada News FM Cebu, conducted a live on-air interview of the victim. It was facilitated by their field reporter, Jonalyn Jumabis.

During the interview, the broadcasters asked the minor victim to recount the details of the abuse.

“After the interview, the minor victim and her mother reported back to Dumanjug MPS to turn over the medical/psychological examination result and to further review the prepared documents for the filing of formal criminal complaints against the suspect,” the Dumanjug MPS said.

“Upon knowing that the victim’s mother entertained a radio interview about the incident, the WCPD investigator again reminded the former to protect the confidential nature of the case and to refrain from entertaining anymore media interviews,” it added.

The Dumanjug MPS recommended to the higher headquarters the filing of appropriate complaints, if evidence warrants, to the persons involved in the posting of the video and the conduct of interview in accordance with the Best Interest of the Child under Republic Act 7610. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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