CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet – Four persons, including two personnel of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) Station No. 3, were successively arrested for their involvement in the alleged gang rape of a 26-year old single parent in Tuding, Itogon town from May 23-27.
Senior Superintendent David Q. Lacdan, director of the Benguet provincial police office, identified the arrested rape suspects as Jude Saydawan, Kenmark Alberto Pinas, 31, a resident of No. 392 Silde, Tuding, Itogon, Benguet, SPO3 Eugene Araos and SPO3 Alvaro Perez, both assigned investigators at the BCPO Station No. 3.
Lacdan disclosed manhunt operations are still underway to effect the arrest of the three other individuals who were involved in the aforesaid gang rape incident that took place within the jurisdiction of the Benguet police.
“The gang rape victim was able to positively identify the four arrested suspects during separate police line-ups over the past few days in order for her to pinpoint those responsible for the said unfortunate incident,” Lacdan stressed.
Initial police investigation showed a concerned citizen and several members of the Mines View Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) reported to BCPO and Benguet PPO intelligence operatives of the alleged occurrence of a gang rape incident in nearby Tuding, Itogon, that was perpetrated by seven still un identified male suspects.
The 26-year old victim, single parent, a native of Pozorubbio, Pangasinan, who temporarily lives within the Maharlika Livelihood Center along Magsaysay Avenue was reportedly abducted by the seven male suspects in Mines View in the evening of May 23.
However, the alleged gang rape was reported to the police only on May 29 at around 9 pm and subsequent combined police operations resulted to the arrest of Saydawan, followed by Araos, Pinas and Perez over the past few days and all of the reported suspects were positively identified by the victim as part of the 7-man group that took turns in raping her for several days.
The victim’s boyfriend reportedly aided the combined police operatives in effecting the arrest of the four out of the seven suspects in separate operations in Baguio and Benguet.
However, Lacdan pointed out the police officers linked to the said incident still remain innocent until otherwise proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the court as probers are still awaiting the outcome of the tests conducted by the elements of the Scene of the Crime Operation (SOCO) team for the filing of charges against them.
The four suspects were taken into custody by the Itogon municipal police station awaiting the decision of the provincial prosecutor’s office on the alleged abduction and rape charges that will be filed against them.
He said probers will still conduct further interviews on the victim and her boyfriend as well as the arrested suspects in order to ascertain the veracity of the charges being hurled against the arrested individuals, especially the BCPO investigators who were linked in the alleged gang rape.
The victim was subjected to the appropriate medical examination by concerned health authorities and results of the said examination will be released soon to serve as one of the pieces of evidence for the filing of charges against the suspects.