Ilocos Sur policewoman who mishandled molestation complaint relieved from duty

The female policewoman who handled the molestation case filed by a 15-year-old girl in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, last week has been relieved of her post.

Ilocos Sur Provincial Police chief Colonel Ronald Tagao said that Staff Sergeant Merly Joy Pascua of the Cabugao police station Woman and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) also faced administrative charges.

Tagao said Pascua committed lapses, which proved fatal.

The minor, who was with her uncle and cousin, asked Pascua for police escort after she filed a molestation complaint against San Juan Police Staff Sergeant Marawi Torda. She said she feared for her life, but Pascua ignored her. (READ: 2 cops tagged in murder of 15-year-old girl in Ilocos Sur)

Motorcycle-riding men gunned down the minor on on her way home from the police station on July 2. Her uncle and cousin, who were with her on the motorcycle, were not hurt.

“There were lapses. Once you entertained a rape case, you should finish the filing at that moment. And because the victim was a minor, it should also be reported to DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), which she didn’t do,” Tagao said of the female cop.

According to the teenager's uncle, Pascua told them, “Ano gusto 'nyo, babantayan na lang namin kayo (What do you want us to do, just look after you)?"

“She said she didn’t report it because it was already late afternoon, and the investigator is also a mother and had to go home,” Tagao said. “Pero as a procedure dapat dirediretso iyun. Hindi nila ginawa iyun (But as a matter of procedure, they should've reported and filed it right away. They didn't do that)."

The minor’s 18-year-old cousin had also filed a rape complaint against Staff Sergeant Randy Ramos, also of the San Juan Police Station. Torda and Ramos arrested the cousins for violating the curfew in San Juan in late June, and allegedly sexually abused them that same night.

The chiefs of the police stations of Cabugao and San Juan have also been relieved of duty. –