NBI-7 files charges vs individuals accused of mauling British chef
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) has filed various charges before the Office of the City Prosecutor and Office of the Ombudsman against individuals accused of mauling of British chef Jason Atherton in a resto bar in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City last December 2022.
The NBI 7, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, said that complaints were filed against the accused for the violation of R.A. 7610 which provides stronger deterrence against child abuse, exploitation and discimination and Sec. 4, in relation to Sec. 15 of the Bawal Bastos Law, among others.
NBI 7 Director Rennan Augustus Oliva said the first string of complaints was filed on Feb. 3.
“We already wrapped up our investigation upon the request of the complainant, Chef Jason Atherton…We came up with the investigation based on witnesses, statements of the victim, as well as the CCTV footage gathered at different establishments, not only the establishment in question, which is F Bar but the neighboring establishments also,” he said.
Oliva identified the respondents as a certain Butch Prieto Soreño, Iñaki Ramon Ibarlucea, Jericho Leonardi Bolongan, Richard Doncillo Cervantes, and Douglas Cervantes.
CDN Digital is still trying to reach the accused as of this writing.
The five individuals were charged for the violation of Sec. 10 of Republic Act (RA) 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act; Sec. 4 in relation to Sec. 15 of the RA 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act also known as the Anti-Bastos Law; and Art. 265 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Art. 8 of the RPC (conspiracy).
These cases stemmed from the complaint of Atherton, who claimed that his daughter, who is a minor, was queuing in the lavatory of F Bar, when she was allegedly approached twice by Soreño, who boldly asked her to have sexual intercourse with him inside the restroom.
The incident happened last December 28, 2022.
Oliva said that Atherton, who was enraged with what happened to his daughter, confronted Soreño, who was with a group of friends then. The confrontation led to a scuffle, which caused physical injuries on Atherton.
READ: NBI-7 steps in mauling of international chef
Moreover, Oliva said, they also filed a separate complaint for the violation of Sec. 10 of RA 7610 against a certain Neil Versoza Pepito, the disc jockey of F Bar, before the Office of the City Prosecutor on Feb. 8.
Oliva said their investigation showed that Pepito allegedly yelled at the minor and her family telling them “I will kill you” on the night of the incident.
During their investigation, NBI-7 learned that Soreño works as an administrative officer of the Bureau of Customs assigned in Port of Iligan.
Separate complains for misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service were also filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas.
In addition, charges for violation of provisions of Article 40 in relation to Article 288 of PD 442 (Labor Code of the Philippines) and the Anti-Dummy Law were also filed against a certain Fairuz Abdullah Lee aka Francis Lee on Feb. 14.
“It was found out during the investigation that Francis, the owner of F Bar (Flee Bar), is a Singaporean national and is merely a holder of a tourist visa. He is therefore prohibited to do business in the Philippines, especially for a type of business reserved only for Filipino citizens, such as restaurants, bars, and/ or salons,” Oliva said in an interview on Wednesday, Feb. 15.
NBI-7 also filed charges for violation of the Anti-Dummy Law against seven other corporate officers of the F Bar. They are Aileen Donal-Tran, Christin Lee, Crispina Rensal, Rayjob Serencio, Ludivina Silaya, Soraida Canasa, and Atingone Yburan.
CDN Digital tried to reach the management of F Bar on the matter, but they refused to make any comments.
Cebu City asks police to probe mauling involving Michelin-star British chef in restobar
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