[Statement] on the slow prosecution of Fabel Pineda’s rape and murder case -CHR
Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the slow prosecution of Fabel Pineda’s rape and murder case
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 Philippine National Police (PNP) of the grave violation committed by their fellow men in uniform.
Contrary to the misleading news claiming that the implicated officers facing administrative charges were already relieved from their duties, only Police Staff Sergeant (PSSg) Randy V. Ramos was dismissed from service, while PSSg Marawi U. Torda was exonerated due to lack of sufficient evidence. Both suspects are on restrictive custody under the PNP Regional Office while their murder and attempted murder cases are still on trial.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) calls on the PNP and the Department of Justice (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.
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. 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.
Through its independent investigation, the CHR Regional Office I has confirmed that there were indeed human rights violations committed by the police officers. 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.
The CHR hopes that the PNP remains faithful to its earlier commitment to swiftly deliver justice and carry out reforms within the institution to produce morally-upright and credible policemen who can genuinely maintain peace and order in the community.
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