Jojo, not his real name, was apprehended by authorities led by Insp. Elias Colonia, chief of the Matalam Police, while resting in his house in Matalam.
His arrest came after a rape-slay complaint was lodged against him by relatives of the 12-year old identified only as Nene (not her real name), also a resident of the village.
A witness told Matalam Police that he saw Jojo grab Nene’s hand while washing laundry in a river last week. Jojo reportedly dragged her to a grassy lot, just few meters away from the river, according to the witness, adding he did not expect that there was rape as the victim and suspect were good friends.
A day later, residents in the area saw Nene’s body. The body had contusions, a proof that the girl struggled to set free.
Parents of Nene cried justice for the death of their child.
Instead of being detained in a separate cell away from adult offenders, Jojo is locked up at the North Cotabato Provincial Jail here, while he has yet to present a birth certificate to show that he is under 18 years old.
But under the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act or RA 9344, recently signed into law by President Arroyo, detained minors are supposed to be freed while the Local Governments department has ordered the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to stop accepting children in conflict with the law (CICL) in the district, municipal and city jails nationwide.
Detained juvenile offenders 15 years and one day to 18 years of age are supposed to be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Local Governments Secretary Ronaldo Puno in late May directed “all jail wardens,” through the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to “refrain from accepting CICL” in municipal, district, and city jails across the country. (Malu C. Manar/MindaNews)