3rd victim files complaint vs. Malaybalay suspected serial rapist

MALAYBALAY CITY  (Bukidnon News / 14 March 2012) –  Another victim has filed a complaint before the City Prosecutor’s Office here against a suspected rapist subject of two complaints filed last week, the Malaybalay City Police Office Children’s and Women’s Desk revealed.

PO1 Warlika Sadang, children and women’s desk officer, told Bukidnon News the 19-year old victim, third to come out so far, was allegedly raped in April 2011, almost a year before the suspect was arrested.

Sadang told reporters “Gigi” (not her real name) came forward after they convinced her to file the complaint and be brave enough to fight for her rights. She has kept the incident to herself for fear and
shame over the months. Her former employer came to the police after the arrest of the suspect and the complaint of two victims came out in the news.

Two teen-age complainants have filed a complaint against a suspect they accused of allegedly raping them on separate incidents in January and February last week. But Sadang said they expect more victims to come out starting this week. At the time of the offense “Gigi” was working for a store in the city, where she told her employer she was just “almost raped.” Her employer convinced her to file a blotter report but it did not push through.

In her affidavit filed on March 13, “Gigi” said she was raped at the back of a white-painted pick up and was threatened that her parents will be killed if she report to the police.

Another girl, possibly another victim also came out when the city police spread the news about the arrest of the suspect, identified as 38-year old Gene L. Diaz, from the city’s Brgy. Violeta. The victims reportedly abducted by the suspect in a motorcycle in tandem and was brought to a big house.

But Sadang said they haven’t convinced the girl to file a complaint after her traumatic experience. The victim’s parents learned of the incident only on March 8.

Sadang added that based on the patterns of his assault the suspect can be described as a “serial rapist.”

Last week, lead counsel for the victims Oliver Owen Garcia told radio station DXBU there are possibly more victims out there so they are encouraging them to come out and file charges.

Garcia, a former Valencia city councilor and provincial board member, encouraged other possible victims not to fear as “they will definitely pursue the case.”

The suspect was identified by “Mia”one of the complainants, is facing charges of rape, cruelty to minors, and illegal possession of firearms before the sala of Regional Trial Court 10 Branch 8 Judge Dennis Alcantar.

Diaz, who was arrested around 9 p.m.on March 3 near the Caracol Building, has been detained since March 9 at the Malaybalay City Jail. Police Supt. Oscar Jacildo, city police chief told reporters a court decision was issued disallowing any bail for the suspect as his charges are heinous crimes.

In their affidavits, “Mia” and “Lily” (not their real names) identified Diaz as the one who tricked them into his car after asking some questions and eventually raped them inside. Diaz allegedly promised the girls allowances in exchange for future meetings and threatened them with death or embarrassment if they would report the incident.

“Lily,” another student, said she was raped in January. The case has drawn a public uproar and different sectors are supporting the victims who are afraid that the suspect, who belongs to a prominent family in Valencia City, might go scot-free. The Malaybalay City government has expressed support in providing legal assistance to the victims. Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri said the city government is signing a memorandum of agreement with the FIDA, an association of local lady lawyers.

At a symposium Friday afternoon at Bukidnon State University, Dr. Reyna Amba, BSU high school principal assured the students that the university is 100 percent supporting the victims, providing them with lawyers and other support.

Amba appealed for consideration for the victims who have continued attending classes.

“Respect the victims in their silence. Treat them like your ordinary classmates. Be considerate, be kind,” she said.

Meanwhile, the suspect’s counsel, Isidro Caracol said the suspect has denied the allegations and appealed to the public not to pre-judge as the suspect also has a family.

“He is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” he added. Caracol invoked Diaz’ right to remain silent, to obtain the services of the lawyer of his choice and other constitutional rights as an accused.

Caracol, however, cited the alleged failure of the church, the school, and the community about the occurrence of rape and other crimes in the community and urged the media to focus on the good things instead.

Sr. Lydia Perejan, MCM, representing the religious sector among the groups supporting the victims, said there is a great need for different sectors to monitor the case. The groups were initially worried Diaz could obtain temporary freedom as he could post bail for the two other charges.

A BSU gender sensitivity advocate said preventive measures are still best for women who, she said, are prone to sexual assaults. She said Malaybalay’s crime rate has worsened over the years even if she admitted that the increase in crime volume is part of the “costs of development.”
BSU students held a campus indignation rally that ended in the symposium where women’s desk police officer Warlika Sadang gave an orientation on the protection of children and women in time for International Women’s Day on March 8. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)

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