Maan Macapagal, News Update Cop's lawyers claim alleged rape victim had condom, Class95cafe, Jan 18th 2011
MANILA, Philippines â€“ Lawyers of a police officer accused of raping a vendor inside the Manila Police District headquarters on New Year’s Eve have claimed that the woman had a condom with her during the incident.
Atty. Aniano Albon, one of the lawyers of Police Officer 3 Antonio Bautista Jr., went to the MPD headquarters Monday to see for himself where the alleged rape took place.
He looked at a window that Bautista allegedly destroyed to get inside the locked room of the police Integrity Task Force.
Albon also asked police if they moved things around the room. “Were changes made in the room? Ilang pulgada 'to? Alam niyo ba kung ilang sukat 'to? Is this the only table?”
He also entered the jail cell where his client allegedly tried to bring the victim, Vanessa. “Me jail dito? How many inmates can the jail accommodate?”
The lawyer also asked for the names of the police officers who were on duty during the incident.
Albon is among 2 lawyers that Bautista hired to defend him in the rape case.
The lawyers said they are preparing the police officer’s counter-affidavit in response to the woman’s allegations.
“He vehemently and strongly denies [the] accusation leveled against him,” Atty. Alicia Serrano said.
Albon said their client now feels safe in the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
“There is no more fear. He is safe there at the NBI. [There was a] P100,000 bounty that's why he surrendered,” he said.
Albon added that their client feels “victimized.”
“Not in the real sense of frame-up but is sort of [a] vindictive move,” he added. “We are preparing his defense.”
The lawyers claimed that they found flaws in the alleged rape victim’s affidavit.
Condom inside woman’s bag?
Albon also alleged that Vanessa had a condom in her bag during the incident.
“What’s the kind of person who would carry a condom in her bag and married as such and at wee hours of the morning. We see an injustice there. We see that,” he said.
Serrano said a condom inside a woman’s bag “is incredible.”
“This is too small for the act to be committed. We cannot surmise as to that unless we can prove it. But for a woman to be carrying condom in her bag, that can you conclude?” she asked.
They urged the public not to judge their client.
“Not to try and condemn Bautista through trial publicity. Please wag naman. We are confident that justice will prevail and truth will set him free,” one of his lawyers said.
The National Police Commission (Napolcom) has given Bautista 5 days to submit a counter-affidavit.
The commission will start hearing the administrative case on January 24.
The alleged rape victim, meanwhile, has yet to comment on the 2 lawyers’ allegations.
Rights group seeks justice for Vanessa
A women’s rights group, meanwhile, urged authorities to ensure that justice is served in the case.
“PO3 Antonio Bautista Jr. of the Manila Police District may be liable under the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, where the penalty of reclusion perpetua is imposed on offenders who is a member of the Philippine National Police, any law enforcement agency or penal institution, or the Armed Forces of the Philippines or its para-military units. We enjoin all women human rights defenders to remain vigilant in calling for justice for the 31-year old woman vendor,” said Cristina Palabay, convenor of Tanggol Bayi.
Palabay said prisoner rape, sexual humiliation, abuse, and violence even inside the offices of police stations, jails, and military camps should stop.
She cited a Just Detention International report on prisoner rape in the Philippines.
The report revealed that 4% of 552 female jail inmates surveyed reported to the Department of Interior and Local Government that they had experienced sexual abuse while detained.
Seven of the women had been raped, while others were subjected to abusive conduct including sexual touching, kissing, corrections officials exposing their genitalia, and attempted rape, Palabay said.
“We demand justice for the victim, as we continue to demand accountability for all human rights violations inflicted against women,” she stressed.