Rape Issue in Panglao Island

By Sunday Post Newspaper

The parents of Vivian Dumaluan have formally filed a motion for reinvestigation of the rape with homicide cases based on the recommendation of the fact-finding team.           

Spouses Eusebio and Antonia Dumaluan filed a motion for leave to reiterate motion for investigation before the Department of Justice on the controversial rape-slay cases filed against former Panglao Mayor Doloreich Dumaluan, his brother Engr. Teofredo "Pingmay" Dumaluan, Narciso Maghamil and Romeo Lapinig.           

The rape for homicide case was filed in connection with the rape and killing of Vivian Dumaluan in 2004.           

An omnibus resolution dated June 16, 2008 adopted by three of the four members of a panel that investigated the case dismissed the charges against the Dumaluan brothers and Lapinig and instead recommended the filing of the case against Alex Dasco even while Maghamil remains under detention based on a separate resolution filed in 2004.            

The new motion was filed after the fact-finding team composed of Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane and State Prosecutor II Graeme June Elmido submitted its report to Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuno.            

Zuno issued the directive for the fact-finding investigation which was endorsed by Chief Justice Reynato Puno.           

In their new motion, Vivian's parents noted that among others, the team noted that "it appears that the dismissal was basically based on the supposed integrity and 'incredibility' of the declarations in the Sinumpaang Salaysay of Alex Dasco and the Sworn Statement of George Galo".           

The team added that the said resolution was not able to relate these evidences submitted mainly in support of the allegations contained in the said narration and sworn statement.           

At the same time, the motion pointed to the observations of the team that it appears that while the resolution points to inconsistencies in Dasco's declarations in his March 14, 2008 confession and his account during the clarificatory hearing on April 29, 2008, "these supposed inconsistencies seemed to have been misappropriated in the light of the context and other affidavits and evidence corroborating Dasco's declarations".           

The team also noted that it is of the opinion that in coming up with the omnibus resolution, the majority panel of prosecutors may not have considered a considerable number of the evidences submitted in support of the complaints filed against the Dumaluan brothers and Lapinig.           

"These evidences are crucial to the proper determination of probable cause against the respondents, and to misappreciate the value of these evidences may not be in keeping with the obligation and objective of meeting the ends of justice that both the complainants and the respondents jointly seek," the fact-finding team said.           

In their new motion, the Dumaluan couple pointed out that in view of these, in the same report and recommendation, the Office of the Regional State Prosecutor strongly recommended that a reinvestigation be conducted "in the utmost interest of justice".           

The motion noted that according to the records, the complainants prayed for a reinvestigation when they filed their motion for reconsideration and/or reinvestigation with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor on July 8, 2008 stating that, among others, the omnibus resolution "is replete with misappreciation, suppression and/or total disregard of evidence duly submitted."           

The said motion noted that the omnibus resolution only referred to 27 of the 68 evidences submitted by the complainants which were furnished to respondents.           

"Instead, (the omnibus resolution) relied heavily on the denial and alibi interposed by the Respondents over and above their positive identification," the motion stressed.           

According to their latest motion, the Dumaluan spouses said the contention of the complainants is affirmed by the result of the fact-finding investigation.