Pregnant woman raped in Naga; Capitol finds shelter for her, kids

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva March 21,2015 - 12:40 AM

A 34-year-old pregnant woman who was raped last Sunday  in the City of Naga  is under the protection of the Cebu Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC) along with her two minor children and husband.

Since the woman is still traumatized, they may need her husband to execute a supplemental affidavit to strengthen the case filed in court, said Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, PWC co-chairperson.

Two neighbors,  Leonardo Lebrado, 38, and his brother Nelson, 26, were arrested by police    after they were identified as suspects.

The woman, who is five months pregnant, was raped in the family’s rented home at 10 p.m. last Sunday.

She and her two children, aged four and two, were asleep when the incident occurred.

Her husband, a carpenter, was working in Cebu City at the time. The suspects reportedly entered through an open window and unlocked the house’s front door, said police.

As of last Thursday, Magpale said social workers still had difficulty  communicating with the victim who has been showing signs of depression.

“We had a hard time getting her affidavit because she had a nervous breakdown. I’m afraid we may  lose the case because of the poorly-executed affidavit,” Magpale  told reporters yesterday, hence  the need to ask for the husband’s sworn statement.

Naga city police told the PWC the husband may not give a supplemental affidavit, but Magpale said the council will push for it.

“We insist that an affidavit be taken… he is in a better position to talk,” she said.

The family was referred to the PWC by social workers who considered this  a sensitive case, a timely move since March is Women’s Month.

Today, the PWC holds its annual Women’s Congress at the Capitol Social Hall.

Jedidah Sumignan, PWC special operations officer, said  the housewife  and her two children have been moved to an accredited shelter for abused women in Cebu.

The PWC is also working on the application of the husband to avail of the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice.

The  family arrived in the City of Naga three weeks ago. They left Mindanao six months ago to look for  better opportunities  in Cebu.

Despite the victim’s place of origin, the PWC will still pursue the case.

“They say that she is not from Cebu but she is still a person,” said Magpale.

The vice governor said that as far as she can remember, this is the first rape case the PWC is handling that involves a pregnant woman.

She said  their approach will be entirely different.

Intervention

The PWC facilitated the filing of the criminal complaint earlier this week.

The Lebrado brothers are under the custody of the Naga police. The rape case was filed with  the City Prosecutor’s Office last Wednesday.

The wife and children will undergo psychological evaluation to assess how they are coping with the trauma.

There are  in-house psychologists in the shelter  but the housewife will  still be referred to psychologists at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

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