By NITZ ARANCON
and JIGGER J. JERUSALEM
POLICE yesterday pressed charges against five young men, including a minor, who allegedly gang-raped a 21-year-old Tourism student in a house near their school on Julio Pacana St. Tuesday night.
Police said the suspects video recorded the sexual abuse, and this would be presented as evidence.
The suspects were identified as Jemboy Toñacao, 21, of Manticao, Misamis Oriental; Clint Caballero, 18, of Xavier Heights; Junel Pabingwit, 24, of Sto. Niño, Lapasan, a 17-year-old named Daniel; and Jason Veter of Consolacion.
Police arrested the suspects, except for Veter, yesterday.
The suspects are mostly Criminology students. One of them, Toñacao, is taking up an Administration and Management course.
Police said they submitted the information about the alleged gang-rape to the City Prosecutor’s Office but the inquest proceedings would be done today.
M/Sgt. Ricky Bagas, deputy chief of the Macabalan police, said the alleged victim and the suspects had a drinking binge inside a boarding house to celebrate the birthday of one of the suspects.
“Nag-inom ni sila didto sa boarding house adtong suspect ug pagkahubog aning babayi, luya na kaayo ilang gipahimoslan ang higayon ug ilang gilugos,” Bagas said.
Bagas said the suspects denied taking turns in raping the Tourism student, but added that a piece of evidence gave them away.
“Dili sila makalimod kay duna may video sa ilang gibuhat. Sila ra sab ang naghimo’g ebedensiya,” Bagas said.
Police said the alleged victim went to the boarding house near their school at around 5 pm because she was invited to the celebration.
There, the group had “Choco Bam,” a mixture of rum, powdered chocolate, iced tea and coffee.
Investigators said the alleged victim subsequently became too drunk that she laid down on the bed of the suspect who was celebrating his birthday.
According to the alleged victim, she woke up helpless while two of the suspects allegedly took turns in raping her while another video-recorded the sexual abuse with a cellphone.
She alleged that two other suspects served as lookout.
A police report reads: “At around 7:00 pm of same date, she was awaken [and was] surprised that someone covered her face with blanket.”
Police said the woman fell asleep after the alleged abuse, and she asked for help when she woke up.
In a radio interview, one of the suspects, Caballero, said he was with the group but had to rush back to school to attend a class.
He said that when he returned, he saw his friends raping the victim and then he was asked to take a video.
City police spokesperson Maj. Evan Viñas said most of the suspects and the alleged victim were classmates.
Viñas said the young woman was sound asleep and was inebriated while she was allegedly being abused.
“We believe it happened due to the effects of the alcoholic drink,” he said.
Viñas said it was past 10 pm when the victim woke up and started screaming the moment she realized what happened to her.
He said the responding officers at the Macabalan police then went to the suspects’ respective houses and brought them in.
M/Sgt. Bagas said police quickly moved the arrest the suspects after a resident of Licoan St. reported the alleged gang-rape to them.
“Wala mi mag-osik sa panahon. Amo dayon nga gi-repondehan ang maong report ug didto among unang nadakpan ang tulo ka suspect,” he said.
Bagas said a fourth suspect was arrested during a follow-up operation.
He said Veter, the fifth suspect, has remained at large at presstime.