Press Release
October 6, 2010

Pia cautions PNP: "Don't rush 'closure' of nurse's gang-rape case"

Senator Pia S. Cayetano today asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) not to prematurely close the case of "Florence," the volunteer nurse who was gang-raped in Maguindanao, based solely on the confession of a seventh suspect who recently surrendered to the police.

"I urge police authorities not to rush to the conclusion that the gang-rape of Florence is already a solved case without the benefit of an exhaustive investigation," cautioned Cayetano, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography.

She made the statement in reaction to the announcement of PNP Director General Raul Bacalzo that the case is "100 percent solved" following the reported admission to the crime of Melchor Fulgencio, an ex-CAFGU member working at a construction project in the province.

"I am all for the swift conclusion of this case to bring justice to the victim and her family," she added. "But what was the basis of the PNP Chief in making such announcement before the media?" she asked.

"I don't claim to be a crime expert, but wouldn't it be premature for the PNP to conclude solely on the basis of the admission of a lone suspect without an exhaustive investigation? How can we be sure that the suspect is not covering up for other people, possibly including the first six suspects earlier arrested?"

"Besides, the self-confessed rapist claimed he had an accomplice, whom he only identified as 'Edwin' who is allegedly in hiding. Even accepting for the sake of argument that Fulgencio's entire story is true, shouldn't the PNP first wait for the arrest of the second suspect before announcing the case's conclusion?"

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