Rape Murder Case Against Former Mayor Dismissed

The Provincial Prosecution Office of Bohol re-affirmed its decision to dismiss charges of rape and homicide against former Panglao mayor Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan, his brother and two others.

The Omnibus Resolution, which was signed by Assistant Provincial Prosecutors Ponciano Uy, Margie Tan-Alvaro, Tito Apura and approved by OIC Provincial Prosecutor Macario Delusa last August 22, 2008, resolved a motion for reconsideration and reinvestigation filed on an earlier resolution promulgated by the said prosecutors.

The panel of prosecutors ruled that there was no need for a reinvestigation as the complainants of the case were not able to present a new and material evidence to merit for such.

On March 18, 2008, spouses Eusebio and Antonia Dumaluan filed a complaint against the former mayor for the rape-slaying of their daughter Vivian whose lifeless body was found near the Dumaluan Beach Resort in Bolod, Panglao on April 2004.

Dr. Dumaluan's brother Teofredo, Narciso Maghamil and Romeo Lapinig were also named respondents in the said case.

The case was dismissed by the same panel of prosecutors in an Omnibus Resolution last June 16, 2008.

In its findings, the panel of prosecutors discussed ten assigned errors raised by the complainants in their motion for reconsideration.

The panel said it was not convinced on the testimony of the case's key witness Alex Dasco which was "in itself incredible and inconsistent with the experience of mankind".

Dasco confessed to his participation in the crime which was allegedly planned by Dr. Dumaluan on April 24, 2004 to be used in his campaign in the 2004 elections to gain the voters' sympathy.

The panel said it has to be convinced of the credibility of the testimony and not only of the witness to prevent material damage to the constitutional rights of the accused considering the charge was a capital offense.

The panel also affirmed its finding that the complainants could not present evidence to support the claim of Dasco that he was in fact employed as a driver of Dr. Dumaluan, hence, the order of the former mayor to rape and kill Vivian was incredible.

Likewise, it was also reiterated by the prosecutors that it defies logic and good reason for Dr. Dumaluan to order that the dead body of Vivian be thrown near the laundry house of his resort if the purpose and plan was to blame the crime to his political opponent.

The panel also affirmed its finding that Dasco is "a coached and paid witness" as there were "material inconsistencies as to facts and circumstances" on his two sworn statements.

Dasco's delay in exposing his knowledge of the crime was described by the prosecutors as "flimsy and unjustifiable".

The panel of prosecutors also finds the second affidavit of witness George Galo as "incredible, unbelievable, uncorroborated and its execution suspicious".

According to the panel, "the extra-judicial confession of Dasco in acknowledging his guilt to the offense charged, while admissible against him cannot be given in evidence against his alleged co-conspirators because the conspiracy to commit the crime has not been shown by evidence other than such acto or declaration. Moreover, the admission was not made during the existence of the alleged conspiracy."

Another motion for reconsideration on the panel's ruling that was filed by Dasco was likewise dismissed due to the absence of new issues that warranted the reversal of the said resolution.

The panel recommended for the filing of information for rape with homicide against Dasco.