Cousins face grave coercion raps for threatening minor

(Screen grab from Adrian Prietos Video)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Two cousins are facing grave coercion charges in relation to violation of Republic Act 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act” after they allegedly threatened a 15-year-old girl at Barangay Mansilingan here last Thursday.

Police Lieutenant Florentino Abalayan, head of Police Station 7, said the charges were filed before the City Prosecutor’s Office last Friday against Mariben Ceraspe, 21, of the said village; and Reymond Ceraspe, 20, of Barangay Alijis.

Abalayan said the two suspects reportedly tailed the victim from the Downtown area until the said village.

Mariben then came near the victim while her cousin stood as lookout. She allegedly held the victim, pushed her to the wall, and forced her to come with them, Abalayan said.

The minor tried to ask help from the residents but Mariben allegedly grabbed her hair and told her to be silent or she will stab her.

The minor insisted to call for help but Mariben pretended to be the victim’s relative so that people won’t meddle with them.

But since many people already saw the episode, Mariben was forced to let go of the victim. The suspect realized she was cornered when the victim’s employer, who is a close friend of her family, arrived.

Mariben was arrested and was brought to the police station while her cousin is still at-large.

Abalayan said Mariben denied the accusations against her at first, claiming she has no intention to harm the victim.

But she later told the police that “tripping lang ato kuno nila magpakaisa,” the station commander said.