Calls for justice for 15-year-old molestation victim who was later shot dead

July 7, 2020 - 8:56 AM
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physical abuse
The woman alleged that Viray had threatened to inflict wounds on her face so that no one would like her. He also allegedly "choked" her when she told him she would meet with her cousins. STOCK PHOTO

The slay case of a teenager allegedly committed by cops in Ilocos Sur was the latest report of local police abuses during the quarantine.

A 15-year-old victim of lasciviousness was shot dead by motorcycle-riding gunmen last Thursday, on July 2, in the municipality of Cabugao in Ilocos Sur after she filed a molestation complaint at the town police station.

A police report indicated that the girl was allegedly harassed and her 18-year-old cousin was allegedly raped by two local police officers after they were arrested over supposed curfew violations.

The Ilocos Sur Provincial Police Office identified the cops involved as Staff Sergeants Randy Ramos and Marawi Toda.

The provincial police office filed two murder charges against them last Friday, on July 3.

The murdered victim’s complaint was against Torda. Ramos, meanwhile, was tagged in the rape case of the girl’s cousin.

The girl reportedly managed to escape them to file charges against the two law enforcers before being killed.

As of writing, Ramos and Toda are detained at the Ilocos Regional Police Office at Camp Florendo in San Fernando City, La Union.

Ilocos Sur Police Chief Colonel Ronald Tagao told a news website that they’re not yet certain if both law enforcers themselves shot the girl and the investigation for the case is still ongoing.

Philippine National Police chief Archie Gamboa, meanwhile, denounced the cops as “animals” who deserved a life sentence.

“They are not men in uniform but animals who deserve to be jailed for life. Walang awa, walang puso, walang kuwentang pulis,” Gamboa said.

Meanwhile, calls for their justice were launched online over the weekend and reached Philippine Trends on Twitter. Photos of the girl circulated online despite her being a minor.

Twitter user @QueenChromatica claimed that the crime was committed from the town of San Juan.

“[The victim] was raped by two policemen from San Juan, Ilocos Sur. She filed her case in a police station at the nearby town of Cabugao. She asked for an escort to go home from the Cabugao police but they refused. She was gunned down later,” the social media user said.

Another Filipino on social media questioned the Cabugao police for its failure to provide a safe escort for the girl on her way home.

“The Cabugao police should also be made to explain why they refused to escort her home to San Juan. She felt she was in danger. The police are supposed to serve and protect the people. [The girl] was only 15 years old,” the post read.

Activist @YearoftheMonSy, meanwhile, listed the alleged crimes members of the PNP committed during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

PNP abuses during the pandemic

Human rights groups and advocates have criticized the PNP over alleged abuses committed to quarantine violators during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine last March and April across the country.

Last April, a barangay captain in Pandacaqui in Mexico, Pampanga came under fire after allegedly committing sexual harassment, child abuse and discrimination when he shamed eight quarantine violators, some of them were minors, on social media.

In the same month, activist Chad Booc sought help from his followers to help free a male worker who was arrested without a warrant, detained and publicly shamed online.

Booc claimed that the worker was only asking the staff of the social welfare agency why his social amelioration card was rejected.

A student from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines was also illegally arrested for alleged violation of quarantine protocols in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

The local police refused to release him despite clarifications and appeal from officials of the barangay where the student lives.

New York-based Human Rights Watch also called out local government officials and law enforcers over the inhumane detention of offenders, which include locking them up in cage-like structures.

“Locking up people for violating emergency measures such as curfews and quarantine rules may actually increase disease transmission if people are placed in close proximity to one another in detention facilities. Children should not face criminal sanction for violating emergency measures,” a previous HRW report said.

Rights group Amnesty International Philippines likewise found “a heightened pattern of misconduct” perpetrated by barangay officials during the ECQ period.