CEBU CITY, July 27— A 13-year-old rape victim who went missing since July 21 was found Thursday morning by a radio news reporter in Mandaue City.
The reporter got wind of the girl’s whereabouts through her Facebook account where she posted her location and immediately went to pick her up from the house of her aunt in Mandaue to ensure her security.
DyHP station manager Atty. Ruphil Banoc thereafter turned the rape victim over to Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, who subsequently brought the girl to the office of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-7 Regional Director Atty. Patricio Bernales Jr. for her protection.
On Wednesday, the NBI filed a criminal case against lawyer-broadcaster Juril Patino for raping the girl inside his car last July 13.
The rape victim was reported missing by her mother around 2:00 p.m. last July 21 after the latter’s consultation with a doctor in a public hospital.
The mother said the NBI brought them to the hospital for psychological consultation and the doctor wanted to have a separate talk with her and her daughter. The mother went in first and when she was finished, the girl was no longer waiting outside the clinic.
As the girl was nowhere to be found after days of searching, the victim’s family sought the help of Mayor Tomas Osmena on Tuesday.
The mayor vowed to help the victim’s parents to locate the child and put up a cash reward for any information that would lead to the girl’s whereabouts.
Bernales extended his gratitude to Mayor Osmena and Councilor Tumulak for their all-out assistance and also gave credit to the people who helped in their investigation.
“Rest assured the child will be taken care of and will be protected,” said Bernales.
Tumulak, on the other hand, asked the public to respect the privacy of the victim and her family and to understand that the information or content of the case is too sensitive to disclosed.
“Our side here is to give proper justice to the person who broke the law and avoid adding stress to the victim’s family,” Tumulak said.
Tumulak also thanked the Philippine National Police for their support, the social media netizens, and the media people, especially radio station dyHP of Radio Mindanao Network.
“This only proves that the role of media is not just to bring news and information, but that the media also has a moral obligation to help our city in solving crimes like this. I ask the media to continue going beyond information dissemination and to help solve cases such as this,” Tumulak told reporters. (LBG/USJR intern Ador Menchavez/PNA)