By: Jennifer P. Rendon
FOUR youngsters were tagged in gang-raping and killing a 19-year-old teenage girl in Janiuay, Iloilo on Oct. 26, 2019.
Police Captain Dadje Delima, Janiuay police chief, said the number of persons of interest went up to four after one of the suspects named two other cohorts who allegedly took turns in sexually molesting Ronalyn Bravio, a resident of Barangay Abangay where the incident happened.
Fifteen-year-old alias Nonoy, also from Abangay village, initially named 18-year-old Raymar Estoque as the brains behind the rape-slay.
He later modified his statement and added two more cohorts in the gruesome act.
Bravio, a Business Management student in a private college in Iloilo City, was found naked in a rice field around 6:50 p.m. on Saturday.
Her boyfriend, a resident of Barangay Patong-Patong, Janiuay, discovered her body, with her hands and legs tied.
She was rushed to Dr. Ricardo Ladrido Memorial District Hospital in the nearby Lambunao town but was declared dead by 7:12 p.m.
Delima said the victim sustained a stab injury on her abdomen, hematomas on her forehead and right eye, and hymenal laceration.
There was also an indication that she was strangled.
After the incident, police took into custody Nonoy, the victim’s distant relative, following a tip from a resident in the area.
Police investigators brought him to the barangay hall where he was asked if he knew what happened to Bravio.
“He initially denied. But after some time, there were already inconsistencies on his accounts until he admitted knowing what happened,” Delima said.
He then pointed to Estoque, a resident of the nearby Canawili village, as his companion.
Delima said they went to Estoque’s house at 1:00 a.m. of Sunday but his father claimed that the boy did not go home.
When the father was informed of Estoque’s involvement, he assured policemen that he would contact his son and will encourage him to surrender.
At 11:00 a.m., Estoque voluntarily turned himself before the Janiuay police.
Delima said Estoque, a Grade 10 student at Canawili National High School, denied any involvement in the incident.
“But he appeared to be surprised when he was made to face his 15-year old accuser,” Delima said.
Bravio was last seen alive after she bought bath soap from a store around 5:15 p.m. She had been talking to her boyfriend over the phone while on her way home.
But after some time, her boyfriend could no longer contact her until he decided to drive to Abangay to check what happened to Bravio.
Along with the victim’s cousin, they began looking for her until she was found naked in the rice field.
Nonoy even went with them in looking for the girl.
In his own version of what happened, Nonoy claimed he went to the store to buy siomai.
At the time, Bravio already left the store and was on her way home.
After buying siomai, Nonoy said he was on his way home when he saw Estoque.
Nonoy said Estoque was holding the victim’s pair of shorts.
The older suspect them called him to go to the ricefield and ordered him to sexually molest Bravio.
Nonoy said the victim already suffered from a stab injury when he molested her.
“He told us that he was forced to do it because the older suspect threatened to kill him and his family if he would resist,” Delima said.
Shortly after he finished the deed, the two other suspects arrived.
It appeared that Estoque called them up and were told to sexually exploit the wounded Bravio.
After the four boys finished molesting the victim, Nonoy said Estoque hit Bravio on the head.
He also claimed that it was Estoque who gagged the victim’s mouth with pieces of cloth and sack.
Estoque was also accused of strangulating Bravio.
Delima said there was no report that Estoque or Nonoy were into drugs.
“What we gathered is that neighbours accused Estoque of behaving badly,” he said.
As of press time, Delima said the two other suspects are the subjects of a manhunt.