2 Ilocos Sur cops charged with rape

CRIMINAL charges for two counts of rape on Thursday were filed against two Ilocos Sur policemen whom Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa ordered dismissed from the police force after they were accused of killing a 15-year old girl whom they allegedly sexually abused in Cabugao municipality, the Journal Group was told yesterday. 

The charges were filed against Staff Sergeant Marawi Torda and SSgt. Randy Ramos before the office of Department of Justice Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Azarcon at 2 p.m. Thursday under National Prosecution Service Docket No. XVI-INV-20G-00086 - 87 respectively.

At the same time, a separate case for violation of Presidential Decree 1829 or obstruction of justice under NPS Docket No. XVI-INV-20G-00085 were also filed against relieved  San Juan Municipal Police Station commander, Captain Ramil Llarenas and one of his men, SSgt. Merly Joy Pascua as well as barangay captain Ricardo Quilala.

The charges were filed as a result of an investigation into the case conducted jointly by the Police Regional Office 1 and the Ilocos Sur Police Provincial Office under Brigadier General Rodolfo Azurin Jr.

Earlier, Gen. Gamboa said he wants the dismissal from the force of the two Ilocos Sur policemen accused of killing in an ambush the 15-year old girl who accused them of rape and acts of lasciviousness within 15 days.

“I believe there is enough proof, a substantial evidence against the two which will merit their dismissal from the police service,” the PNP chief told newsmen at Camp Crame.

He referred to Staff Sgts. Ramos and Torda, both members of the San Juan Municipal Police Station in Ilocos Sur who have been placed under the custody of the Ilocos Sur PPO in Bantay municipality while undergoing criminal and administrative investigation.

“Their (two policemen) movement have been restricted,” the PNP chief said as he ordered the PNP Internal Affairs Service to see to it that the administrative case against the two accused would be resolved within 15days and lead to their dismissal.

Gen. Gamboa said he wants the stiffest penalty for the two policemen. “They are not men in uniform but animals who deserve to be jailed for life. Walang awa, walang puso, walang kwentang pulis,” the angry PNP chief said.

He also admitted that being civilian in nature, they have lost their authority to detain erring policemen unlike in the Armed Forces and the defunct Philippine Constabulary which is the forerunner of the PNP.

He added that before, the Chief,PNP also has the power to ‘require’ the custodial investigation of erring police officers and men but those powers have been diminished. Gen. Gamboa said that being a former Summary Hearing Officer during his days as a Police Colonel, he knows that an administrative case can be resolved within 15days from the previous 90-day maximum period.

The PNP chief said a policeman who is the subject of complaint is given 5days to answer the charges against him formally and another 5days is given by the SHO to allow a confrontation between the accused and the complainant.

The next 5days will be the submission of the evidence and the resolution. “That’s the reason why my minimum would be the maximum. Rather na makita ng publiko na pagala-gala ang accused. But it can be done and we’re doing it,” he said.

Gen. Gamboa ordered PRO1 director, Brig. Gen. Azurin to provide security to the 18-year-old alleged rape victim and her family and ensure the availability of all PNP prosecution witnesses in court proceedings to expedite the murder trial simultaneous with summary administrative procedures.

On Friday last week, the Cabugao Municipal Police Station filed murder charges against Ramos and Torda before the Provincial Prosecutor of Ilocos Sur, docketed under NPS Number I-03-INV-20G-00217 for the murder of  the 15-year-old girl who earlier filed a complaint against Torda for alleged acts of lasciviousness.

Rape charges were also filed against Ramos by the 18-year old cousin of the murdered girl.

An investigation conducted by the Cabugao Municipal Police Station showed that the two girls were arrested for violation of curfew and were very drunk when the two policemen allegedly took advantage of them but the 15-year-old girl managed to escape and later filed charges against them.

Journal Group sources from the province however claimed that the two victims have also filed similar charges against at least two other law enforcement agents in the past but settled their cases amicably.