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Opinion

Murder of a 10-year-old girl not yet a closed case

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

On the day the remains of the 10-year old murder-rape victim were buried, the Talisay City Police station nabbed the suspect who was about to escape from the long arm of the law.

Ian Rey Baculi, 18, a resident of Barangay Maghaway, Talisay City, was arrested by the police on Wednesday in Barangay Campo 7, Minglanilla, Cebu. He was about to escape when the police managed to arrest him.

According to the Talisay City Police, he was the one pinpointed by the witnesses as the murderer of Kiara Mae Namanama, 10 years old, a neighbor and relative of the suspect. The gruesome killing happened in Sitio Napo, Barangay Tapol of the same city, on January 6, 2022. Her body was recovered three days after she was reported missing.

Cerila, the victim’s mother, narrated that she and her two children went to the river of the neighboring Barangay Tapol to wash their dirty and soiled clothes after their house was badly damaged by super typhoon Odette. The victim asked permission to swim with her brother upstream of the same river.

She then told her brother that she would go ahead as she wanted to go back to their mother. That was the last they heard from her before her remains were found in a cave in the same place.

It was during the burial that the mother was informed that the suspect was already arrested. She had mixed reactions. While she felt thankful that the suspect has been identified, she was also sad because the suspect is a relative.

While I commend the Talisay City Police station, led by Police Lt. Col. Randy Caballes, for solving such a heinous crime, I don’t subscribe to the idea that the said case is already considered closed. There is still much to be solved based on what I got from the suspect himself.

During the interview with the suspect in my Straight to the Point Program aired over radio station dyHP RMN Cebu, he made the following extra-judicial confession on air.

He admitted voluntarily that he was one of those who committed the crime. He said there were four of them. His three cohorts were the ones who snatched the helpless 10-year-old girl, strangled her, held her underwater until she became unconscious and eventually died.

They brought her to a more secluded area and sexually abused her one after the other. Then his companions went ahead to a cave and he followed carrying the remains. Then they placed it in the cave and covered it with a pile of rocks.

With this, the police should consider the narration of the suspect that he was not the only one who committed the crime. If you look at the circumstances and evidence, there is a big possibility that the crime was not authored only by one person.

With the confession of the suspect plus the surrounding circumstances, the police should continue to conduct in-depth investigation and look for the three remaining suspects.

This is to give complete justice to the victim and so that these people should be given the commensurate penalty for the crime they committed. For now, it is too early to consider the crime as closed!

MURDER

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