Malaybalay serial rapist facing 3rd complaint

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/15 March) – Another rape victim has filed a complaint before the City Prosecutor’s Office here against a suspect who is facing two other charges of rape, police said.

Police identified the suspect as Gene L. Diaz, 38, from Barangay Violeta here, but he reportedly belongs to a prominent family in neighboring Valencia City. He was arrested last March 3, with the court disallowing bail because of his alleged heinous crimes, according to Supt. Oscar Jacildo, city police chief.

Two teenaged complainants filed their charges against Diaz earlier this month, allegedly for raping them in separate incidents last January and February. PO1 Wahrlika Sadang, of the city police’s children’s and women’s desk, said they expect more victims to come out starting this week, now that Diaz is in jail and his handiworks now out in the news.

Sadang told MindaNews the third victim to surface was allegedly raped April last year. The 19-year-old Gigi (not her real name) reportedly came forward after police convinced her to file the complaint and be brave enough to fight for her rights.

She has reportedly kept the incident to herself for months because of fear and worried over the shame should she come out. Her former employer came to the police after Diaz’s arrest and the complaint of two victims came out in the news.

At the time of the offense, Gigi was working for one of the stores in the city. She confided her case to her employer, who convinced her to file a blotter report. But Gigi did nothing back then.

When she finally did file a complaint, she said in her affidavit filed March 13 that she was raped at the back of a white pickup truck and was threatened that her parents will be killed if she report the crime to the police.

The two complainants who filed charges earlier identified Diaz as the one who tricked them into his car after asking some questions and eventually raped them inside. Diaz allegedly promised the girls allowances in exchange for future meetings. He threatened them with death or embarrassment if they would report the incident to the police.

Last week, the lead counsel for the victims, Oliver Owen Garcia, told radio station DXBU there are possibly more victims out there so they are encouraging them to come out and file charges.

Garcia, a former city councilor of Valencia and provincial board member, encouraged other victims not to be afraid as authorities “will definitely pursue the case.”

Diaz is facing charges of rape, cruelty to minors, and illegal possession of firearms before the sala of Judge Dennis Alcantar, of Regional Trial Court-10 Branch 8.

One of the victims, a student, said she was raped last January. Her case has drawn public uproar.

Various sectors here have vowed support for the victims who are afraid that the suspect, who belongs to a prominent family in Valencia City, might go scot-free.

The city government of Malaybalay has expressed support in providing legal assistance to the victims. Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri said the city government is signing a memorandum of agreement with a group of women lawyers who will help the victims in the case against Diaz.

Meanwhile, the suspect’s counsel, Isidro Caracol, said the suspect has denied the allegations. Caracol appealed to the public not to pre-judge Diaz as he also has a family.

“He is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” he added. Caracol invoked Diaz’s right to remain silent, to obtain the services of a lawyer of his choice and enjoy other constitutional rights as an accused.

Caracol, however, cited the alleged failure of the church, the school and the community in preventing occurrences of rape and other crimes in the city. He also urged the media to focus on the good things instead. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)

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