Woman who sued 11 Cebu City cops for robbery, rape gunned down
CEBU CITY—The 35-year-old woman who was allegedly robbed by at least 11 policemen in the city and raped by one of them was gunned down by still unknown assailants on Natalio Bacalso Avenue past 6 p.m. on Monday (April 19).
Maj. Alejandro Batobalonos, chief of the police’s Integrity Monitoring and Enhancement Group (IMEG) Visayas Field Unit, said Ritchie Nepomuceno was shot repeatedly and killed about a month after she filed criminal complaints against 11 police officers assigned to the Sawang Calero police station in the city.
Nepomuceno, a resident of Minglanilla town, south Cebu, died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Police gave no other details on the killing of Nepomuceno as of 9 p.m. on Monday.
Last month, 11 police officers of the Sawang Calero police station were charged with robbery, arbitrary detention, grave coercion and grave threats at the Cebu provincial prosecutor’s office. They had been accused of stealing Nepomuceno’s valuables.
The police team leader, SSgt. Celso Colita, was also charged with two counts of rape for allegedly molesting Nepomuceno in a motel, according to Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo, head of the Central Visayas police.
The 11 policemen were relieved from their posts while an internal investigation is being conducted.
Aside from Colita, also charged were Chief MSgt. Eric Edgar Ernia; Staff Sergeants Joseph Alcoseba and Michael Rhey Cabizares; Corporals Emmanuel Martinez, Rochelito Mabulay, Ejill Ferrolino, Carlo Irizari, Junel Pedroza, John Carl Aceron and Georny Abrasado—all of the Sawang Calero police station.
Maj. Eduard Sanchez, chief of the Sawang Calero police station, was not charged but was relieved from his post for command responsibility.
Around 9 p.m. last March 9, Colita’s group conducted a search operation at Nepomuceno’s house at the village of Tungkil in Minglanilla town, south Cebu for alleged possession of unlicensed firearms.
Nepomuceno told investigators that the policemen presented no search warrant and took her valuables, including pieces of her jewelry.
On March 10, Nepomuceno was hauled by the same group of policemen to the Sawang Calero police station but her arrest was nor recorded in the blotter.
Around 1 p.m. of March 10, Colita’s group brought Nepomuceno to an ATM machine and allegedly forced her to withdraw P170,000 from her account.
On the same day around 2:45 p.m., Colita allegedly brought Nepomuceno to a motel at the village of Mambaling where Colita raped Nepomuceno.
Nepomuceno was released around 5 p.m. on March 11.
She reported her ordeal to the IMEG office which has the mandate to monitor rogue policemen.
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