Lawyer-broadcaster faces trial for rape
A court trial and possibly an arrest await a Cebu lawyer-broadcaster who was accused of sexually molesting a 13-year-old girl inside his car in 2017.
The Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office has found sufficient basis to indict lawyer Juril Patiño on charges of rape.
No bail was recommended.
The case was elevated to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City on Thursday, and was raffled off to Judge Marlon Jay Moneva of Branch 20.
Under the Rules of Court, a trial judge shall, within 10 days from the filing of the complaint or information, personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence to determine whether or not there are sufficient grounds to order the arrest of the accused.
Sought for comment, Patiño said he has not yet received the latest resolution of the prosecutor.
“I’m surprise with the recent development. In fact, I’m anxious especially that I’m accused of a non-bailable offense. But as it is, I need to face it, knowing that I am completely innocent,” he told Cebu Daily News in Cebuano.
“You know what, it is so easy to accuse a person of a wrongdoing. Proving it is a different thing. Ang once proven that you are innocent, your reputation and dignity have already been damaged,” he added.
He refused to elaborate while he tries all legal means possible to get him off the hook.
Patiño served as anchor of Brigada News FM before he was asked to momentarily stopped handling any program pending the resolution of the charges filed against him.
At present, Patiño, who passed the Bar Exams in 2014, served as legal adviser and consultant of the radio station.
Patiño presented as evidence footages of a closed-circuit television at the Mariner’s Court where Brigada News is located as well as a video and audio recording of his car’s dashboard camera to disprove the victim’s claims.
But Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Alex Gabud said Patiño’s defense are evidentiary in nature and can be best appreciated and threshed out in a full-blown trial.
For now, Gabud said the testimonies of the victim coupled with medical examination results prevail over Patiño’s denial, which according to the Supreme Court, is the weakest of all defense since it is “self-serving.”
“Testimonies of rape victims who are young and immature deserve full credence, considering that no young woman, especially of tender age, would concoct a story of defloration, and thereafter pervert herelf by being subject to a public trial if she was not motivated solely by the desire to obtain justice for the wrong committed against her,” said Gabud, echoing a ruling of the Supreme Court.
Gabud’s original resolution dated September 28, 2017 was approved by Cebu City Prosecutor Liceria Lofranco-Rabillas.
Patiño, assisted by lawyer Avenescio Piramide, filed a motion for reconsideration to contest the resolution of the prosecutor and sought the inhibition of the entire Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office, saying certain facts and evidence he presented were overlooked or ignored by the state lawyers.
Both pleadings, however, were denied.
Gabud said Patiño did not present any new evidence in his motion for reconsideration and the latter’s contentions were already discussed in the original resolution of the case.
Patiño elevated the matter to the Department of Justice but it did not stop the prosecutor’s office from filing the rape case against the accused before the trial court.
The victim claimed she went to the office of Brigada News at Pier 1 in Cebu City on July 4, 2017 to supposedly ask money from program anchor Carlo Dugaduga for her school project.
The victim, her mother, and older sister used to do laundry for Dugaduga to earn money.
The girl said Dugaduga was not around when she went to the radio station. She said she instead met Patiño and asked money from the latter so she could go back home to Barangay Labangon, Cebu City.
At first, Patiño allegedly told her that he didn’t have coins. But while she was on her way out of the building, the lawyer-broadcaster allegedly told her to go with him to his car where he left the coins.
The victim said Patiño allegedly offered to bring her to the nearest place where she can ride a jeepney going to Labangon.
But when they reached Barangay Parian, Patiño purportedly stopped near the building and locked the doors of his vehicle.
Afterwhich, the girl said, she was told by Patiño to transfer to the back seat. She obliged out of fear.
The victim said Patiño then sexually molested her inside the vehicle whose windows were tinted.
After the alleged rape, the girl said Patiño gave her P200.
She subsequently reported the matter to her mother who in turn sought the help of the Parian Police Station.
However, they felt that the authorities were reluctant to file a case against Patiño, prompting them to ask assistance from officials of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas, who after conducting an investigation, decided to file a rape complaint against Patiño at the prosecutor’s office.
Patiño vehemently denied the accusations hurled against him, saying footages of the CCTV camera proved that the girl did not go to the office of Brigada News on July 4, 2017.
But the security guard of the building where the radio station is located said she saw the victim at the building sometime in the first week of July.
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