CHR to PNP, DOJ: Resolve cop’s rape-slay case of minor in Ilocos
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has reminded both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to quickly resolve the case of a police officer accused in the June 2020 rape and killing of a minor from Ilocos Sur.
CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement on Monday that bringing justice to the death of 15-year-old Fabel Pineda would send a strong message to law enforcement agencies — that wrongdoings would never be tolerated even among public officials.
Otherwise, the commission warned that the failure to find a resolution would press culture of impunity further, where women are abused and are silenced to avoid accountability from perpetrators.
“Six months have elapsed since the rape and alleged killing of 15-year old girl Fabel Pineda by police officers in Ilocos Sur, but justice remains elusive for her and her cousin Bernadette Saniatan despite the strong condemnation of the [PNP] of the grave violation committed by their fellow men in uniform,” De Guia said.
“[CHR] calls on the PNP and the [DOJ] for the speedy resolution of the case and urges Philippine authorities to send an unequivocal message to law enforcement officials that abuse of power shall never be tolerated among their ranks,” she added.
CHR also claimed that only one of the accused police officers — P/SSg. Randy Ramos — was dismissed from service, while the other accused namely P/SSg. Marawi Torda was not implicated due to lack of sufficient evidence. Both remain under restrictive custody of the PNP’s Police Regional Office 1.
Reports in July 2020 said that Pineda and her 18-year-old cousin were arrested on June 28, after they were allegedly found violating the curfew regulations, as they go home from a friend’s birthday party.
But instead of bringing the two home, they were brought to a beach, the relatives of the victims said. Both managed to return home but after filing complaints against the police officers before the Cabugao Police Station, Pineda was killed by two men aboard a motorcycle.
CHR said that the fate of the victims exposes how vulnerable women are in society, that they are even targeted or attacked after complaining about abuses.
“Impunity for police abuse often leads to a deadly cycle of violence that needs utmost denunciation across the board. The case of Fabel and her cousin exposes the reality of women and girls who are allegedly raped or sexually abused by persons in authority or in police custody who often face threats of serious reprisals,” De Guia noted.
“All too often, they are silenced and threatened to withdraw any complaint against their perpetrators due to fear of retaliation. Such incidents are a clear betrayal of public trust by the same people who have sworn oaths to protect its citizens,” she added.
The commission also assured the public and the relatives of the victims that they would monitor developments in the case, especially as their regional office claimed that there were rights violations committed by the officers involved.
“Through its independent investigation, the CHR Regional Office I have confirmed that there were indeed human rights violations committed by the police officers,” De Guia said.
“For its part, the Commission shall closely monitor the cases filed before the DOJ against the two officers, and shall also ensure the provision of financial assistance to the families of Fabel and her cousin to aid them in pursuing the case,” she added.
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