Monday, July 21, 2008

Murder - Rape Case in Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines

           The complainants in the celebrated Vivian Dumaluan rape-slay case refuse to believe the findings of the panel of investigators that self-confessed participant Alex Dasco conspired with accused Narciso Maghamil.

            The majority of the panel of investigators dismissed the cases for rape with homicide filed against former Panglao Mayor Doloreich Dumaluan, his brother, Engr. Teofredo Dumaluan and Romeo Lapinig.

            In the motion for reconsideration filed by spouses Eusebio and Antonia Dumaluan, the complainants claimed this was one of 10 assigned errors contained in the resolution prepared by three of four members of the panel that was approved by acting Provincial Prosecutor Macario Delusa.

            Of the four members of the panel, three signed the majority resolution namely Assistant Provincial Prosecutors Ponciano Uy, Tito Apura and Margie Tan-Alvaro.

            Only third assistant provincial prosecutor Eric Ucat refused to sign the resolution and instead prepared his own dissenting resolution.

            The complainants however have filed a motion for reconsideration and reinvestigation, citing 10 assigned errors.

            In their motion for reconsideration, the complainants through counsel Mia Manuelita MascariƱas-Green noted that the majority's finding that Dasco and Maghamil conspired with each other is merely "a short paragraph. A SHORT SHRIFT".

            "This EVIDENTLY shows the less regard which the majority accorded to lesser mortals, e. g., Dasco and Maghamil," the motion pointed out.

            It added that neither of them is a doctor of medicine or a civil engineer. (the former mayor is a doctor while his brother is a civil engineer.)

            "And, needless to state, they cannot influence anyone because they are poor," the motion added.

            The complainants noted that while the majority labored to explain why Dasco's affidavit of confession and testimony during the clarificatory hearing do not bind the respondents especially Dr. Dumaluan and Pingmay, no similar explanation was given why Dasco and Maghamil were the only ones who conspired in the commission of the crime.

            "Like for instance, why did Dasco conspire with Maghamil and vice-versa?," the motion wondered.

            The complainants said it bears emphasis that Dasco's admission regarding his participation in the commission of the crime is contained in his second affidavit executed on March 14.

            In the said affidavit, Dasco narrated that he saw Pingmay enter the room and stroke the victim. Pingmay then untied her hands and feet before raping her.

            Dasco said that the Vivian managed to loosen the covering on her mouth and proceeded to bite Pingmay on his left hand and arm and scratch him while trying to break loose, prompting Pingmay to call out to them for help.

            According to Dasco, he held both of Vivian's hands while kneeling above her head while Lapinig and Maghamil held each of her feet.

            He said Pingmay was finally able to rape Vivian repeatedly.

            Since the majority did not believe Dasco's claim that Pingmay raped Vivian, the motion asked what remains in Dasco's admission that he held Vivian's hands.

            "There is not even an iota of evidence that Dasco conspired with Maghamil. When the conspiracy was hatched in the morning of April 24, 2004 inside a room of the Dumaluan Beach Resort with Dr. Dumaluan as the brain thereof, Maghamil was not even present," the motion noted.

            Dasco had stated that present during the April 24, 2004 meeting were Dr. Dumaluan, Pingmay, Lapinig and himself.

            "And so, how could Dasco have conspired with Maghamil?", the motion asked.

            The motion said that according to the majority, Dasco's confession is admissible only against him.

            "(T)here being no evidence that Dasco conspired with Maghamil, the inevitable conclusion is that Dasco conspired with himself," the motion added.

            Calling this "absurd", the complainants said that if the majority insists in filing an information for rape with homicide against Dasco, "to be frank they would become the laughing stock among the legal circle in Bohol ".

            "Imagine, for an information of rape with homicide, a non-bailable offense, the evidence in the possession of the prosecutors is that the accused was alone (because he did not conspire with Maghamil) in holding the hands of the victim PERIOD," the motion said.

            "And, they call the act – rape with homicide!" the motion said. - published by Bohol Sunday Post

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