2 members of Mangudadatu clan accused of rape

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/22 October) –  Two members of the Mangudadatu clan have been accused of  allegedly raping a 20-year old student in a downtown dormitory.

Datu Naga Mitra Mangudadatu of  Tamnag, Lutayan,  Sultan Kudarat, his cousin, alias Puti, and four bodyguards are respondents in a complaint filed by “Victoria” (not her real name), who alleged she was raped at around 1 a.m. in Mangudadatu’s room in the dormitory on August 1 this year.

“Victoria” filed a complaint before the city prosecutor’s office on October 7.

Initial reports said the suspect, a student in his 20s, is reportedly a brother of Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu and that he is presently staying in the Davao City residence of the governor.

Mindanao has two governors surnamed Mangudadatu: the Maguindanao governor and Sultan Kudarat Governor Suharto “Teng” Mangudadatu.

Maguindanao governor Mangudadatu, who hails from Buluan, Maguindanao, told MindaNews by test message that he has no brother named Naga Mitra.

“Lima lang kami boys sa family (There are only five boys in our family). Si Mayor Jong,  Mayor Freddie, Mayor Sajid, Assemblyman Toy at ako,” the Maguindanao governor said.

He also said, in Pilipino, that “there is no Naga staying in my house in Davao. Only my children stay there.”

Sultan Kudarat Governor Mangudadatu could not be reached for comment but sources in the provincial capitol said he and Naga have the same father: former  Governor and Rep. Pax Mangudadatu, uncle of the Maguindanao governor (he said his father’s father and the father of Pax are brothers).

The former governor could not be reached, too.

In her affidavit-complaint filed also on October 7,  “Victoria” said that on July 31,  she and two helpers in the dormitory were  about to call it a night at 11 p.m. at the canteen on the ground floor of the dormitory when one alias Ramba arrived, urging them to have more beer.  Ramba reportedly asked one of the two helpers who was with “Victoria” to buy a “big bottle of Red Horse beer” and “made us consume that big bottle of beer in 15 minutes.”

She said they called it a night after that and as she was preparing to go to her room in the upper floor, Mangudadatu “appeared and invited us in a nice manner to have some more beer inside his room near the canteen” allegedly because “it’s too hot here in the canteen.”

“Victoria” said she obliged with a few “shots of beer” but soon after, Naga asked one of the helpers to leave and ordered the other to get some glasses outside.

“Naga ordered his four bodyguards to leave the room… then he turned off the light over my protest… then I saw one of his bodyguards outside from the glass wall, roll down the aluminum-steel blind, after which, Naga immediately and forcefully dragged me to his bed” and succeeded in raping her, “Victoria” recalled.

“Victoria” said Naga later called Puti, who raped her at gunpoint and ordered her “not to tell anybody or the press.”

“Victoria” said she felt the circumstances leading to the rape incidents were “set up by Naga with his five bodyguards.”

Aside from Naga Mitra Mangudadatu and alias Puti, the other respondents are Erven P. Otadoy, alias Ramba, Ryan March C. Tadio and one John Doe.

She said her companions who waited for her outside Mangudadatu’s room saw her “trembling and crying” and accompanied her to her room.

“Victoria” said she narrated the rape to the owner of the dormitory, reported the incident to the Sta. Ana Police station on August 2 and submitted to a medical examination at the Southern Philippines Medical Center on August 3.

The medico-legal certificate issued August 3 noted  the hymenal lacerations and said that the genital findings were “definitive of penetrating trauma.”

SPO2 Ellen Templa, who was on duty at the Women’s and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD) when “Victoria” arrived at 7 p.m. of August 2 to report the crime and at 8:15 p.m. to correct the entry of the family name from “Mangadadatu” to “Mangudadatu,”  advised “Victoria” to go for a medico-legal exam.

The Mindanao Times quoted Templa as saying “Victoria” and her companions wanted the police to arrest the suspects but Templa said they couldn’t do anything about it,  alleging this will no longer fall within any of the three circumstances for a warrantless arrest. The Times quoted another police officer as saying the duty of a WCPD officer is primarily to provide protection to the complainants and to assist them in filing charges.

Under the law, there are three instances when a warrantless arrest is valid: when a person is caught in flagrante delicto, in hot pursuit, and in  the case of an escapee from prison

“Victoria’s” friends said they did not know whom to turn to. One of them said “Victoria” was emboldened to file the case despite the threats allegedly from the suspects, because of the overwhelming support given “Florence,” a volunteer nurse who was gang-raped in Barangay Romonggaob, South Upi, Maguindanao, last month. “Florence” was left for dead. She is now recuperating in a government hospital in Davao City.

The Women’s Desks of the Philippine National Police were established by RA 8551 or the PNP  Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, precisely “to administer and attend to cases involving crimes against chastity, sexual harassment, abuses committed against women and children and other similar offenses.”

The suspects left the dormitory immediately after the rape but returned a day or so later, stayed on until around August 18 or 19, the owner of the dormitory said.

In addition, the City Mayor’s Office has an Integrated Gender and Development Division (IGDD) which also assists in ensuring every possible support  — legal, medical, psychosocial, etc.. to women like  “Victoria.”

The city is also home to several advocacy and support groups for women. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)