CHR-Central Visayas: Rape case dismissal possible

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THE Commission on Human Rights (CHR) 7 is still awaiting the resolution coming from the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office on the cases pressed by the late Ritchie Nepomuceno, who alleged that she experienced abuse while in the custody of 11 Sawang Calero cops.

Leo Villarino, CHR 7 chief investigator, on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, said though there is a possibility that the rape case against Police Staff Sergeant Celso Colita will be dismissed due to the death of the accused and the victim, they are hoping that the extortion and robbery cases filed will be merited considering that there are still other complainants aside from Nepomuceno who have not shown any intention to withdraw.

“We really hope that these cases cannot just be dismissed outright. Maybe that’s why the Prosecutors’ Office is taking time to study the cases filed before them,” Villarino said.

He said the charges were filed before the City Prosecutors’ Office in March 2021.

He also said immediately after Nepomuceno was shot to death by still unknown assailants last April 19, the CHR 7 offered the other two complainants to be enrolled in the commission’s Witness Protection Program.

However, for the complainants’ safety, the chief investigator opted not to divulge whether or not the two actually availed themselves of the protection program.

“We saw the risk that was brought about by the killing of one of the complainants,” he said.

Villarino maintained that as far as the CHR 7’s investigation on the matter is concerned, the death of Nepomuceno does not affect but rather added another angle to their probe.

Nepomuceno accused Colita, one of 11 police officers of the Sawang Calero Police Station, of raping her twice while she was in police custody after the Sawang Calero police raided her house for firearms in early March. They found no firearms. She also accused the Sawang Calero police of extorting her of P170,000.

Regional Drug Enforcement Unit 7 chief Police Maj. Glenn Hife said Colita shot himself dead about four hours after the killing of Nepomuceno as Hife interviewed him on the ambush of Nepomuceno and his alleged involvement in illegal drugs. (WBS)