“People out there must be told about the self-loathing that follows rape and how it’s the greatest breakage in divine law to mutilate themselves, as I have done.” Tori Amos
By Alex P. Vidal
OF the 12 members of the Himamaylan city council in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, nine are males and three are females.
Their presiding officer is a woman, Vice Mayor Carminia G. Bascon.
One of the nine male city councilors has been accused of rape by Rosalie (not her real name), a 16-year-old housemaid.
He will be formally charged on September 1, according to Himamaylan city police chief,
Superintendent Antonieto Cañete.
The city councilor was not immediately named in the news “pending the formal filing of case against him” thus there was a guessing game that followed when the report spread in mass media.
He reportedly owns the hacienda where Rosalie and her mother and sister used to live.
The repeated rapes allegedly happened for almost two years when the victim and her family were still staying in the suspect’s hacienda.
Rosalie had informed her mother about the sexual molestations but they were afraid to tell the police for fear of eviction, if not reprisal.
They were powerless and paupers. They had no one to turn to.
Rosalie’s father died years ago and only her mother was looking after her.
The suspect allegedly sexually molested Rosalie on several occasions in separate places –in the motel, inside his car, inside his house.
People in Himamaylan City already know who the suspect is. The problem, our sources said, is nobody is gutsy enough to mention his name in the media.
Once he will be formally charged, his name will finally surface—whether he likes it or not.
Once formal charges have been filed against the city councilor, he would be forced to defend himself in media or “in the proper forum” and that is the court.
We hope there would be no whitewash in the investigation.
We hope the family will pursue the case and won’t backtrack when push comes to shove.
Once a complaint has been officially filed and the involved characters are prominent personalities, media attention has always been full and constant.
We have heard of similar cases in the past where the complaints only ended up being thrown in the waste basket because the suspects and the victims’ families “amicably” settled the cases in the prosecutor’s office.
Sometimes the cases did not reach the first base as they were “settled” in the police station with the lawyers from both parties, some cops, witnesses, middle men, atbp. ending up with fat wallets and smiling from ear to ear.
Since Rosalie is a minor, she would need the support of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The suspect, except if he was not framed up or a victim of political harassment (in this case it’s impossible for a 16-year-old girl to allow herself to be used as a tool to harass a politician at the expense of her and her family’s reputation), will never take the case lightly.
He can’t afford to let the case prosper and suffer the consequences in his personal life and political career.
A rape accused, especially if he is a celebrity or well-known in his place, can never win in public opinion.
The odds are always stacked against him especially if the victim is a poor girl and does not have power and connections.
He will always move heaven and earth to resolve the case or settle the complaint in whatever means.
Rape is punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, and is no peanuts once it reaches the trial court.
Once the case has been blown up in proportions in the media, the suspect will never be the same again.
It will be the start of his political career’s gradual demise if he will not end up behind bars.
Who among these male city councilors is the suspect in the rape case?
Aly B. Tongson, Jr., Gerardo G. Gamposilao, Harry C. Sian, Larry C. Badajos, Martin Florencio R. Villafranca, Raymuundo S. Lozada, Ricky T. Genova, Rolando V. Da-anoy, Timothy Augustine G. Yulo.
Or none of the above?