New cops take over 2 Ilocos Sur towns
DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan — Policemen from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion in the Ilocos took over the police stations of Cabugao and San Juan towns in Ilocos Sur province following the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl.
Police Brig. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Ilocos police director, said the entire police force of the two towns were relieved from their posts on Saturday and would undergo refresher training.
The chiefs of the two police stations were also replaced and could face administrative charges due to command responsibility, Azurin said.
Police Staff Sergeants Randy Ramos and Marawi Torda of the San Juan police were accused of killing the victim, a resident of Cabugao, after she and her 18-year-old cousin filed rape complaints against them.
The victims’ relatives welcomed Azurin’s relief order but said threats to their security remained.
“We are still afraid of what [the suspects] can do since they are policemen. They have the power and we are poor people,” said Melody Saniatan, an aunt of the murdered victim.
Ramos and Torda arrested the cousins for allegedly violating the curfew after they attended a birthday party in San Juan on July 27. According to the girls, they were later sexually assaulted at a beach in Cabugao, after the policemen promised to bring them home.
The cousins filed a complaint in the women and children protection desk of Cabugao police the following day. But while returning home after following up on their complaint on July 2, the minor victim was killed by two gunmen on a motorcycle.
The Philippine National Police’s Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group has filed complaints against Ramos and Torda at the Department of Justice.
Complaints for obstruction of justice were also filed against Police Capt. Ramil Llarenas, the former Cabugao chief, and Police Staff Sergeant Merly Joy Pascua, former head of the women and children protection desk of the town.
—Yolanda SotelOLANDA SOTELO INQ