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2 most wanted rape suspects fall

PHILIPPINE National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) director, Brigadier General Jonnel C. Estomo yesterday announced the capture of two most wanted rape suspects in the country, one of them a dismissed policeman, following separate manhunt operations in the countryside last week.

In a report to PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas, Estomo identified the arrested suspects as ex-Police Officer 2 Leonardo Soberano and Valentino Sanong.

Estomo added that a warrant of arrest for rape and attempted homicide was issued by a local court in 2009 against Soberano, a former member of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office.

The suspect was captured by the PNP-AKG Mindanao Field Unit agents under Colonel Salvador Alacyang in Bgy. San Agustin, San Fernando City, Pampanga shortly after noon last Friday.

An arresting team led by Major Nestor Acebuche seized a loaded caliber .45 pistol with a magazine containing seven live ammunitions, a Carbine M44 automatic rifle and a Carbine replica with a long magazine from the suspect.

The suspect failed to present proper documents regarding the confiscated firearms and gun replica and will be facing additional charges for violation of Republic Act 1059 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.

Estomo said Soberano went on AWOL after he was accused of raping a girl, then 18 years old in March 2009. The suspect’s arrest was ordered by Judge Antonio Natino of the Iloilo City Regional Trial Court Branch 27 on July 12, 2010 with no bail recommended for his temporary liberty.

Soberano is also the subject of another warrant of arrest for frustrated homicide issued by the Iloilo City Municipal Circuit Trial Court. “We have found out that the suspect went on AWOL after being charged with the crime and transferred from one place to another to elude arrest by authorities,” said Estomo.

On the other hand, AKG-VFU personnel arrested Sanong in Santo Rosario Subdivision in Bgy. Nanonga in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental last Wednesday on the basis of a warrant for two counts of rape issued by Judge Walter Zorilla of the Himamaylan RTC Branch 26 with no bail recommended.

Known as the 10th most wanted man in Hinigaran municipality, the suspect was accused of raping an eight-year old girl.

Estomo also reported the arrest of Joan Granzo, a woman wanted for violation of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Human Trafficking in Person Act of 2003 during an operaton in Bgy. Dayao, Purok 2 in Roxas City, Capiz.

AKG-VFU agents arrested the suspect on the basis of a warrant of arrest with no bail recommended by Judge Benvinido Barrios Jr. of the Kalibo, Aklan RTC Branch 3.

The suspect was accused of recruiting five minors in Aklan who were forced to work as young prostitutes inside the Queens Inn Motel in Kalibo in June 2018.