Sara Duterte vows justice for slain 3-year-old boy in Davao City
DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Mayor Sara Duterte on Friday said she will hire a private prosecutor to pursue charges against the main suspect and others who did nothing to stop the death of a 3-year-old boy.
Duterte made the announcement as she visited Kean Gabriel Agustin’s wake.
She said the private prosecutor, whom she will pay for, will see to it that justice will be served to the victim.
Based on its investigation, the Talomo police said that the boy died when his stepfather, Sonny Boy Mendoza, forced him into an empty sack and hanged him for hours inside their shanty in Matina Pangi last Wednesday.
Supt. Grecel Sagpang, the Talomo police station commander, said the sack fell to the ground several times but instead of taking pity on the boy, the 22-year-old Mendoza sat on him.
Sagpang said the boy’s mother, Grace Agustin, did not do anything to stop Mendoza even when the boy was repeatedly begging them to stop.
The couple only brought the boy to the barangay health center when it was apparent he had ceased moving.
Investigators said they told health workers the boy had drowned.
The couple also approached village chair Carmelo Arena for assistance but when somebody told him of the boy’s ordeal, Arena had them arrested instead.
At the Talomo police station, Mendoza said he was punishing the boy because of mischief and admitted that it was not the first time he had put him inside an empty sack.
Sagpang said a murder complaint had been filed against Mendoza while the boy’s mother faces complaint for parricide.
Duterte said the help she was going to provide was not enough but at least it would ensure that justice will be served.
“We came in too late. We can no longer save Kean,” she told the boy’s grandfather Ruben.
Duterte also urged Davaoeños to “report all abuses against children, cases of rape.”
“Do not hurt your children,” Sara, who is two-month pregnant with triplets, said. RAM/rga
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