Police rescued three children who went missing on Monday in Itogon, Benguet. The suspect admitted he kidnapped and raped the victims.
The victims’ parents posted on Facebook to ask for help to find the children. The three disappeared Monday afternoon while playing in Barangay Tuding.
The kids were aged seven to eight.
“Di na namin kasi pinansin kasi sanay naman na kami na naglalaro sila doon sa kapitbahay namin tapos around 5 p.m. di pa sila umuuwi sa amin,”said aliad “Rose,” one of the victims’ mother.
(We did not notice we were used to our children playing in the neighborhood until they were not able to come home after around 5 pm.)
At around noon on Tuesday, the children were found near a creek in Barangay Gumatdang.
The 48-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly abducting the victims.
“Base sa revelation ng relatives niya meron daw narinig ‘yung mga tao dun na umiiyak na bata sa area doon… Successfully with the help of volunteers and barangay officials na-trace namin’ yung pinagtataguan nung bata at nandun din siya (suspek),” said Police Maj. Rommel Sawatang, chief of Itogon municipal police station.
(Based on the revelation of the relative, the people heard children crying in the area. Successfully with the help of volunteers and barangay officials, we were able to trace where the suspect hid the children.)
The suspect reasoned that his employer did not give him a salary, and that is why he committed the crime.
“Nung tinanong namin kung may relationship ‘yung mga bata tsaka employer niya wala naman. Wala naman, iba ang parents naman ng mga ito,” said Sawatang.
(When we asked him if the children are related to his employer, he said no. The children’s parents are different.)
The suspect further admitted he raped the children.
The children are still under the custody of the municipal social welfare officer.
The suspect has been charged with kidnapping and child abuse. He is now under the custody of Itogon police.
According to the Center for Women’s Resources (CWR) records, one child is raped every hour in the Philippines as of 2017. The issue of rape in the Philippines is an ongoing battle cry for women’s rights.