MANILA, Philippines - A former militiaman has absolved 6 men earlier arrested by police for the alleged gang rape of a volunteer nurse inside the compound of the South Upi municipal hospital in Maguindanao province last September 25.
Superintendent Jack Malinao, chief of the regional police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said that former militiaman Melchor Fulgencio alias Boy Beling, 52, said in his affidavit that he and a buddy named Edwin raped the volunteer nurse.
Malinao said that Fulgencio admitted in his affidavit that he and his friend were drunk when they saw the 21-year-old volunteer walking and was busy texting.
He said that according to the self-confessed rapist, his friend hit the volunteer in the head with a wood. They then dragged the victim at the back of the hospital and raped her.
Malinao said that the former militiaman, who now works for Korean construction firm Hanjin, told them that his friend has already left.
He said that Fulgencio claimed that he surrendered because was being bothered by his conscience.
Police fetched the suspect from his home in Barangay Rumangaop on Saturday night.
Earlier, Task Force Joy commander, Senior Superintendent Federico Castro, said that Fulgencio's confession was not immediately accepted by the police.
Castro said that Fulgencio went through questioning by the investigators of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which has formed a special team to investigate the September 25 rape upon the orders of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
The task force commander earlier admitted during an interview on radio dzMM that the rape complaints filed against the 6 suspects -- Michael Calendario, Jeffrey Fernandez, Glen Saldua, Roscon Sanglap, Darwin Escalona and Eugene Biscarra -- may not hold up in court.
Castro said the rape cases against the 6 suspects were filed by the South Upi Municipal Police's investigators based on circumstantial evidence. He admitted that the rape cases were hastily filed by the local police.
Meanwhile, Castro said that South Upi Vice-Mayor Jordan Campong has already been subjected to police questioning regarding his supposed involvement in the alleged gang rape.
Castro said that Campong has denied the allegations, but investigators were still checking for evidence against the local official.
"We are still trying to gather evidence to determine if he is really involved in the incident," Castro said. -- reports from Lerio Bompat, ABS-CBN Central Mindanao and Noel Alamar, radio dzMM