Fisherman accused of 1,487 counts of rape now in jail

THE 63-YEAR OLD MAN accused of 1,487 counts of rape sits calmly in his Caramoran home as he waits for law enforcers to take him to Virac. Caramoran MPS photo

The fisherman accused of 1,487 counts of rape looked like any other man in handcuffs at the Hall of Justice in Virac where the police had brought him after his arrest on March 2, 2022.

A baseball cap on his head, he wore the same black shirt with collar he had on when he was served the arrest warrant, as well as brown shorts and slippers.

The curly-haired, dark-complexioned man of average build just stayed on his seat beside another individual waiting for the call from the Regional Trial Court, as personnel from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) watched nearby.

According to a court employee, they had to work on Saturday the other week to prepare the case folders for 900 counts of statutory rape and 382 counts of rape filed by his granddaughter and another set of 150 counts of statutory rape and 55 counts of rape filed by the latter’s first cousin, also a granddaughter.

Only four of the folders were thick as they contained the information and affidavits of the victims while the other 1,483 had only one sheet of paper attached.

But the pile of folders was reportedly about four feet high when the court personnel completed their work.

The 63-year-old accused was arrested at his residence at 1 PM of March 2 by joint elements of the Caramoran police station, Regional Intelligence Unit-Provincial Intelligence Team (RIU-PIT) 6 Catanduanes, Criminal Investigation and Detective Group-Provincial Field Unit Catanduanes (CIDG-PFU, Provincial Intelligence Unit (PIU) and Catanduanes 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company (Cat2nd PMFC).

Ranked No. 1 Regional Most Wanted Person, the fisherman was identified only as “Al”, with the police even refusing to disclose the barangay where he resided.

The warrant of arrest issued by RTC Branch 42 Presiding Judge Genie G. Gapas-Agbada did not recommend any bail for the accused’s provisional liberty during trial.

Under the Revised Penal Code as amended by Republic Act 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law, statutory rape refers to the sexual abuse of anyone under 12 years old, punishable by death before the ultimate penalty was abolished.

According to one of the victims, her “lolo” took advantage of her starting in 2016 when they were just eight (8) years old until she turned 13. Her cousin was also raped at the age of nine (9), with the abuse continuing until she was 12.

Both were in the elementary grades when their ordeal began and are now in high school.

The police report did not state how the accused managed to hide over the period of five years his horrendous crimes, which reportedly took place inside his house.

The victims’ experience at the hands of their grandfather only came to light in November 2021, with a member of the family reporting the matter to the authorities.

They are now being cared for at a safe haven in the mainland that is being run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office. They are now undergoing appropriate intervention so they could return to a peaceful life.

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