AWOL soldier nabbed after ‘abducting, molesting’ minor

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – A member of the Philippine Army who recently went on absent without official leave (Awol) was arrested after he allegedly abducted and sexually molested a 17-year-old girl here Saturday.

Police Major Sherlock Gabana, head of Police Station 2, said the suspect was a 32-year-old native of La Trinidad, Benguet, who was a former member of the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) based in Negros Oriental.

Gabana said the soldier’s apprehension came after he was caught with the teenager-victim inside a green van parked at the said area past 8 p.m.

Gabana said the soldier was having a drinking session alone in a sari-sari store when the victim, who has special needs, passed by the store.

He (suspect) approached her and persuaded her to go with him until he forced her into his vehicle, where the alleged molestation happened, Gabana said.

Some residents saw him, prompting them to surround the vehicle, however they cannot mob him because he’s armed, Gabana said.

Police responded and disarmed him. Authorities recovered from him a Glock .9mm-caliber without valid licenses and documents.

Based on the initial results of the medical examination, the victim was positively molested, the station commander said.

Gabana said the suspect went here after he was relieved from his post recently. He’s been staying in his van since he has no family or relatives here, he added.

He said abduction, rape in relation to Republic Act 7610 and the illegal possession of firearms will be filed on Monday against the suspect who is detained at the police station.

Meanwhile, the suspect refused to comment on the allegations against him.