CA junks case versus Daraga barangay execs who failed to report rape right away

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The (CA) has dismissed an administrative complaint filed against the officials of Barangay Maroroy, Daraga, Albay, for allegedly failing to report a rape case to the police and inform the victim’s family immediately.

In a recent 2-page resolution, the CA Former 17th Division sustained its March 15 decision finding no merit in the case filed against barangay chairman Robinson Lubiano, Jr., and kagawads Joven Camonias, Giovanni Requerque and Roland Co Aycocho.

The CA said the petitioner, the victim’s father whose name was withheld, raised issues that were merely a rehash of those it already passed upon in its March decision.

The court said the respondents were not shown to have bad faith, which “contemplates a state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or some motive of self-interest or ill-will for ulterior purposes.”

“Indeed, private respondents’ bad judgment is certainly not enough to hold them administratively liable for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and abuse of authority, read the resolution penned by Associate Justice Ma. Luisa Quijano-Padilla.

The Ombudsman earlier dismissed the complaint in its April 1, 2018 decision.

The case concerned the June 20, 2016 incident in which the victim sat on the street and got hit in the head by someone familiar to her. She woke up around 4:00 a.m., lying down on the street with her underwear pulled down to her feet and the bag containing her money missing.

Her neighbor, PO1 Catherine Camonias, the daughter of Kagawad Camonias, helped her get dressed. The victim rested at her friend’s house before PO1 Camonias fetched her to go to the police station at 11:00 a.m.

The victim then went to the municipal health office that afternoon, before returning to the police station at 6:00 p.m. upon remembering the identity of the suspect Romeo Bendaña. The suspect was arrested the next morning.

The victim’s father was not satisfied with how the barangay officers handled the matter, because she was found beside Kagawad Camonias’s house.

The father complained the barangay officers could have immediately informed the family since they lived nearby. He also accused the officers of being in a drug syndicate together with Bendaña, an alleged known “drug courier.”

The officers claimed it was the victim who initially refused to inform her family and the police about the incident.

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