THE accused in the rape-slay of the six-year-old girl, whose body was found in a vacant lot in Barangay Angliongto last week, will stay under the custody of the Sasa police station until further instruction, the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) said.
PAO-Davao regional director lawyer Francis Calatrava said that the investigating prosecutor has to come out with a resolution on whether to release the accused, Edgar Joseph Lucero. The latter will have to be detained at the Sasa Police Station pending the resolution.
Calatrava issued such statement after a lawyer from the PAO who assisted the accused filed a motion to release Lucero, as the mandated 36 hours reglamentary period already lapsed when the case was filed at Davao City Prosecutor’s Office.
"The PAO lawyer who assisted the accused file the motion for his release being the view that his arrest can no longer be covered by warrantless arrests and therefore also no longer proper for inquest proceedings," Calatrava explained.
He said the complaint should now undergo preliminary investigation, and pending resolution, the PAO lawyer moved for the release of the accused as matter of procedure.
A Department of Justice Circular No. 50 states that arrested persons must be brought to the prosecutor’s office within 12 hours for light offense, 18 hours for moderate offenses, and 36 hours for heinous crimes.
The "12-18-36" hour period will not be applicable to cases involving human security act because the applicable period of time will be 72 hours and in juvenile justice and welfare act where the applicable period will be eight hours.
Lucero was arrested around 3 p.m. in Barangay Ubalde in Agdao District on May 17, Wednesday. He was charged for rape with homicide on May 18, Thursday afternoon, four days after the rape incident.
Police said Lucero was seen in a closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage accompanying the girl and was pointed to by witnesses as the man, who was last seen walking with the girl.
The man, who was previously arrested, Ariosto Ablay Lumayas, 34, married, stay-in laborer at Fairlanes Damosa, was released and has become one of the witnesses.
Lumayas had already executed an affidavit that he saw the suspect and the victim. He said he was drinking liquor with Lucero afternoon of May 14.
Based on the police report, the child went missing at around 2 p.m. on the same day at their residence in Del Pilar, R. Castillo in Agdao.
Neighbors earlier pointed to two men drinking in the neighborhood, who sent the girl on an errand to buy coffee that Sunday afternoon, May 14.
The girl failed to return home.
The body of the child was found lifeless at a vacant lot after two days. (ICT)
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on May 24, 2017.
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