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November 18, 2004

Suspect in rape of deaf-mute, 15, yields; victim dies

From: Sun Star - Philippines - Nov 18, 2004

By Claudine C. Dumalag

ONE of the principal suspects in the rape of a 15-year-old deaf-mute about two years ago in Sitio Yanog, Barangay Tampalon, Kabankalan City, surrendered to police operatives Wednesday.

Jesus Martesan alias "Gamay", 33, of Barangay Tampalon, surrendered at 9:10 a.m., police said.

He, however, denied having raped the victim whose identity was withheld by the Kabankalan police station.

Martesan told investigators he was just watching while his companion whom he identified as Bernie Sabico was raping the girl.

Sabico, said Martesan, molested the girl inside a shanty in the evening of June 27, 2002.

"I never touched the girl. I just accompanied Bernie inside the shanty where the girl was sleeping. We're both drunk and under the influence of illegal drugs during that time," confessed Martesan.

Dr. Cindy Tolentino of Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City confirmed that the girl was raped.

According to investigation, the two suspects entered the shanty where the victim was sleeping. The shanty was five meters away from the house of the victim's uncle.

The victim's parents were away when she was raped. Police records showed that several months after she was raped, the girl died due to infection and severe bleeding.

On the other hand, a witness told investigators that Sabico confessed to the victim's elder brother, Shane that he (Sabico) was sorry for what happened.

After that, Sabico went into hiding and is nowhere to be found until now. Police launched massive manhunt operations against Sabico while Martesan was detained at the Kabankalan police station. No bail was recommended.

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