By NITZ ARANCON
and LITO RULONA
POLICE arrested a farmer from Balubal, accused of raping his three children, during an operation in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon on Wednesday night.
Puerto police chief Senior Insp. Ian Borenaga said the suspect, 43-year old Alex Padilla of Purok 4, Barangay Balubal, was arrested a year after he went into hiding.
Borenaga said Padilla was arrested in Barangay Lunocan, Manolo Fortich town based on a warrant issued by regional Judge Evelyn Neri for 14 counts of rape.
Borenaga said Padilla was accused by his estranged common law wife Teresita Ortiz of abusing three of their children. The two have nine children.
Police said Ortiz learned of the years of abuse from the boyfriend of her 17-year old daughter in 2015. The daughter confided to her boyfriend that her father has allegedly been abusing her since she was nine years old. The boyfriend then brought the matter to the attention of Balubal barangay chairperson Vivian Malingin.
Malingin said she started an investigation into the alleged abuse and in the process, she found out that two of the alleged victim’s younger siblings were also victimized.
One was a 14-year old who was allegedly abused since she was seven years; the other was a seven-year old who was allegedly abused since she was four years.
Malingin said Ortiz and the three alleged victims press charges against Padilla in July 2015.
Behind bars at the Puerto police precinct, Padilla strongly denied abusing his daughters. He was subsequently moved to the Lumbia city jail yesterday.
“Tumo-tumo ra man kanang ila. Kinsa man lugar nga amahan ang molugos sa iyang kaugalingon nga anak,” Padilla said.
He said he and his family tried to settle the case amicably but their neighbors and barangay officials brought the matter to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Padilla said the charges were trumped up after he and Ortiz separated.