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Maguindanao nurse may not have been gang-raped — NBI

October 18, 2010 4:31pm

Maguindanao volunteer nurse "Florence" (not her real name) may have been raped by only one attacker, and not by a group of men, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Monday.

Citing the National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI) forensic findings, De Lima said a DNA test conducted on the victim only yielded "one DNA profile" of a still unknown rapist.

He added that the profile did not match the DNA samples of six men previously accused and that of Melchor Fulgencio, who admitted to raping the nurse but retracted his statement later.

Thus, De Lima said the NBI is looking into the angle that the nurse may not have been gang-raped in South Upi town in Maguindanao on September 25.

"The DNA profile points to a single perpetrator. It's not any of the six, and it's not Fulgencio. It's most probably not gang-rape, that is what the NBI is looking into now. It may not be a conclusion yet, but so far the evidence points to that — that it's most probably not a gang rape," said De Lima.

Last week, the Maguindanao prosecutor's office cleared the six suspects because provincial prosecutors did not find sufficient evidence to charge them for the crime.

Those who were cleared were Glenn Saldoa, Rustom Sangclap, Michael Candelario, Jeffrey Fernandez, Eugene Biscara and Darwin Escalona.

As for Fulgencio, De Lima said she has ordered the local prosecutors to pursue investigation on him because "his version [of how the rape was carried out] is partly true, but not completely true."

Fulgencio, a former militiaman, said he and a certain "alias Edwin" committed the crime. Later, he retracted his "admission," saying he was only forced to make that statement.

On Monday, De Lima said she has ordered local prosecutors and the local police to pursue the investigation into South Upi Vice-Mayor Jordan Ibrahim's possible involvement. –VVP, GMANews.TV
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