5 cops, ‘asset’ tagged in kidnap, rape of Cebu teen
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Five policemen and their informant or “asset” are facing charges over accusations that they sexually abused an 18-year-old woman whom they held for three days last year.
While only the informant, identified only as Luis, allegedly raped the complainant, the five policemen were impleaded in the case since they took part in bringing the woman, a drug suspect, to an apartment in this city.
The National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas filed charges of kidnapping, serious illegal detention, rape, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service against the respondents in the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas on May 9. A copy of the complaint was released to reporters only on Wednesday.
Named respondents were Police Corporals Johnrober Rebusa, Jeffrey Alabata, and Keven Gilbuena; Staff Sergeants Donald Balansag and Joy Marie Alad-ad; and Luis, the police asset. The policemen, all assigned at Mambaling station here, had been relieved by the Central Visayas police on Wednesday.
According to the NBI, they learned from the respondents’ superiors and from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas that they were not notified of any anti-drug operation in the area where the complainant was arrested.
“The acts of the subjects in simultaneously raiding the house, the taking and detaining of the victim against her will from Sept. 19 to her release on Sept. 22, is indicative of a meeting of the minds toward a common criminal objective between the conspirators,” it said.
According to Lt. Col. Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson for the Central Visayas police, the five policemen have been transferred to the holding unit of the Cebu City police while a parallel investigation is ongoing.
Pelare assured the NBI and the Ombudsman of its full cooperation. “We will not condone any misdeed within the ranks of Police Regional Office 7, and as we are very fast in recognizing our personnel, we are also very swift and very determined to penalize those involved in any illegal activities,” he said on Wednesday.
Pelare confirmed that the operation conducted by the respondents was unauthorized.
“I urge the public to continue to trust the PNP (Philippine National Police) despite what happened,” he said.
The complainant said she was in a friend’s house at Barangay Basak San Nicolas here when policemen came at 11 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2022.
Except for the complainant, who said she was overwhelmed by fear, others inside the house were able to run away using the back door.
She said she was frisked by policemen who were looking for illegal drugs inside her friend’s home.
Although the policemen did not find any illegal items, the woman was still taken into custody and subjected to questioning about the illegal drug trade in the area.
When the woman told them that she did not know anything, she said one of the policemen hit her palm with a broomstick several times and threatened to strip her naked.
Luis, she said, forced her to take “shabu” (crystal meth) while she was held in the apartment. At 5 a.m. on Sept. 22, the complainant said Luis raped her.
“She tried to get away from Luis and pleaded with him to stop, but he was too strong for her,” the NBI said, noting that the policemen were not inside the room when Luis allegedly raped the complainant.
Later that day, at 4 p.m., the woman was released. She sought the help of the NBI the following day.
Although it was only Luis that raped the complainant, the NBI said all those involved in bringing her to the apartment should be included in the charges due to “conspiracy.”