CEBU CITY – Three policemen were relieved from their posts after they were accused of raping a woman in San Fernando, Cebu last Saturday.
Police Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo, chief of the Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO 7), said he was enraged upon learning the alleged abuse but he was also informed that it was just fabricated.
“Based on the initial investigation, there were inconsistencies in the statement of the woman,” Montejo said.
Police Lt. Col. Alejandro Batobalonos, chief of the Integrity Monitoring and Enhancement Group-Visayas Field Unit (IMEG-VFU), informed Montejo Sunday that a woman appeared before their office accusing three personnel of the San Fernando Police Station of rape.
The involved police officers hold a rank of Police Master Sergeant, Police Corporal, and Police Patrolman, Montejo said.
Montejo said it was unclear if the alleged abuse took place in the police station.
“I immediately ordered to have the three police officers be disarmed and placed under restrictive custody,” said Montejo.
According to the PRO 7 director, initial reports showed that the woman and her cousin were supposed to travel to Negros Oriental.
The woman claimed that when they arrived in San Fernando, her cousin left her behind and brought her money worth P3,000. The woman went to the San Fernando Police Station to seek help. “The woman went to the police station and allegedly she was raped. That’s why I was mad because instead of helping the woman, which is very basic, she was instead rape according to the allegation,” said Montejo.
Montejo however revealed that IMEG has found inconsistencies in the woman’s statement and there were indications that she was just making up stories.
“Based on their (IMEG) assessment, the woman kept on changing her narrations. Despite of that, we are giving the benefit of the doubt to the woman,” Montejo said.
Because of the woman’s inconsistencies, Montejo has advised the three police officers to file counter charges.
Montejo said that “it would be very unfair” if proven that the woman was just fabricating the allegations.
“I suggest that they (police officers) should file a complaint because it’s very unfair. It is damaging not only to them but to the entire police organization,” said Montejo.
Police Col. Engelbert Soriano, chief of the Cebu Provincial Police Office, said the woman’s accusation was puzzling since the whereabouts of the three policemen at the time of the alleged abuse was well-documented.
The alleged rape purportedly happened around 8 p.m. last Saturday. During the same time, the three police officers responded to an incident in San Fernando, Soriano said.
“This is still subject for verification but we were informed that she had gone to other police stations and filed the same complaint. That’s why we are wondering what could be her basis in her accusation,” Soriano said.