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Bicol police collar 5 MWP ‘rapists’
POLICE Regional Office 5 (PRO5) director Brigadier General Jonnel C. Estomo on Saturday announced the capture of 5 wanted rape suspects in Bicol in the wake of their stepped-up effort to account for all most wanted persons (MWP) covered with warrants of arrest in the region.
“We are going all-out to prove that Bicol region is no place to hide for wanted criminals. We are also ensuring the public that we will pursue all wanted persons in the region even though they have sought refuge in different parts of the country,” said Estomo.
In a report to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Dionardo B. Carlos, the PRO5 official said that the 5 captured rape suspects were all the subject of non-bailable cases.
He said that one of the suspects identified as Dande Daen, 38, a farmer from Purok 7, Sitio Bagong Sirang in Bgy. Tinapian in Manito, Albay was arrested last Tuesday based on a warrant issued by Judge Alym Almayda of the Legazpi City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 7. The suspect was described as the no. 2 most wanted man in Manito municipality prior to his arrest.
The 2nd suspect was identified as Norman dela Cruz, 34, a diving instructor from Purok 3, Bgy. Daguit in Labo, Camarines Norte was arrested on the strength of a warrant for 2 counts of rape in relation to Republic Act 7610 or the anti-child abuse act issued by Judge Arniel Dating of the Labo, RTC Br. 64 on January 23, 2014.
A report from the Camarines Norte Police Provincial Office (PPO) headed by Col. Julius D. Guadamor said that the suspect has been tagged as the no. 2 most wanted person in Labo. The suspect was accused of raping a neighbor more than 9 years ago until he was tracked down by the local police in his hiding place in Purok 4 in Bgy. Malasugui.
The 3rd nabbed suspect is Sandy Loreto, 31, a construction worker from Purok 1 in Bgy. Malabog in Daraga, Albay who has been tagged as the 10th most wanted person in the region was arrested last Tuesday in a house in Norzagaray, Bulacan.
Brig. Gen. Estomo said that the suspect is the subject of a warrant for statutory rape, child abuse, and rape by sexual assault, all issued by Judge Maria Theresa San Juan-Loquillano of the Legazpi City RTC Br. 9 on February 12, 2018.
The official said that the suspect was accused of raping a minor in their neighborhood in 2017. When he learned that the victim’s family decided to file a criminal case against him, the suspect immediately went into hiding until a tip from a concerned citizen enabled PRO5 operatives to arrest him in Sitio Settling in Bgy. Bigte in Norzagaray, Bulacan.
The 4th identified as Joel Vargas, 56, wanted for 13 counts of rape and tagged as Albay province’s MWP was arrested in Purok 3, Bgy. Binitayan in Daraga municipality.
Estomo said that the suspect’s arrest was ordered by Judge Almayda. The 5th suspect was identified as Reymart Ecal, of Purok 2, Bgy. Malobago, Rapu-Rapu in Albay was arrested on the strength of a warrant for statutory rape and 2 counts of rape by sexual assault issued by Judge Damidel Awayan-Losito of the Legazpi City Family Court Br. 1.
Estomo said that the 6th arrested man is Nicomedes Esquijo, 45, a farmer-turned no. 1 most wanted man in Gubat, Sorsogon where he is facing a murder case.
Brig. Gen. Estomo said that the suspect was arrested in Bgy. Buenavista by members of the Gubat Municipal Police Station on the strength of a warrant of arrest for murder issued by Judge Bernado Jimenez of the Gubat RTC Br. 54 on December 17, 2012.
No bail was recommended for the liberty of the accused who went into hiding after killing his neighbor identified as Raul Bercasio at the height of their heated argument on September 8, 2012.
Estomo said that the suspect was the latest to be arrested by members of the Sorsogon PPO headed by Col. Arturo P. Brual in line with their intensified manhunt operations against wanted personalities in the region.