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Cebu News

Cops pursue 3 more men linked to girl’s rape-slay

Iris Hazel M. Mascardo - The Freeman
Cops pursue 3 more men linked to girlâs rape-slay
Kiara Namanama was laid to rest at a public cemetery in Barangay Poblacion, Talisay City Wednesday afternoon but the quest for justice continues. Police said they are pursuing three more suspects after Ian Rey Baculi confessed that he was not alone when he “raped” and killed his 10-year-old cousin.
File

CEBU, Philippines —  Three other suspects are being pursued by the Talisay City police in the rape-slay of 10-year-old girl Kiara Mae Namanama.

This came after the alleged confession of suspect Ian Rey Baculi, who was arrested by the police in the neighboring Minglanilla town on Wednesday, incidentally on the same day Namanama was laid to rest.

Namanama was found dead and covered with rocks inside a cave near a river in Sitio Napo, Barangay Tapul, Talisay City last January 9, three days after her family had reported her missing.

Lt. Colonel Randy Caballes, Talisay City Police Station chief, said they are now verifying Baculi’s confession that there were three other suspects who were with him during the commission of the crime.

Pending verification of such information, Caballes said they could not consider the case as closed yet.

“Amo pa ni imbestigahan kung tinuod ba gyud tung tulo. Amo pa ning gipangita if ma-verify, then anha na mi maka-decide if case closed na ba gyud siya,” he said.

As far as police are concerned, Caballes said, they could not officially tell yet if the girl was indeed rape since the autopsy results have yet to be released. However, Baculi had already told the media that he sexually abused the girl.

Caballes added that they are still gathering another set of witnesses to verify the confession of Baculi as this was assessed to be “inconsistent” during the series of interviews with him.

“Ang iyang first nga statement is siya ra usa (who committed the crime). Then ganinang buntag, naa na sad siyay gi-mention nga lain. Then karon, pag-usab na sad og interview sa iya, wala na sad siyay kauban, siya nalang sad usa,” said Caballes.

Prior to Baculi’s arrest, Caballes also said that there were witnesses who claimed seeing four individuals fleeing the area where Kiara was found dead.

Baculi was allegedly a notorious drug user in their area who was also involved in robbery incidents.

In an interview with the media following his arrest, Baculi claimed that he was under the influence of illegal drugs when he committed the crime.

Authorities are already in the process of gathering affidavits of witnesses to file the case of murder against Baculi.

Meanwhile, as the general public is all eyes on the child's case, Caballes assured that they will not slow down on their investigation to find the remaining suspects and to get to the bottom of the case.

“And nag-pasalamat ta nga tungod sa cooperation ug support sa mga silingan, relatives, ug mga concerned citizens nga nihatag og information nga nadakpan ug na-identify ang kining suspect,” said Caballes. –JMD (FREEMAN)

RAPE SLAY

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