Guv to check rape plaint vs Capitol guard

By: Gerome Dalipe

ILOILO Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. will look into the report of the Capitol’s fact-finding committee, which recommended the conduct of a formal administrative investigation against a provincial guard accused of raping a masseuse last May 25, 2019.

In his press conference Thursday, Defensor said he will check first the records of the case against Roen Ledesma and study the recommendation of the probe body before making any legal move.

“It (case) is not on my radar yet,” Defensor told reporters, adding that the incident happened before he assumed the post on June 30.

The fact-finding committee recommended to Defensor the conduct of a formal administrative charge against Ledesma.

The committee endorsed to Defensor Jr. that Ledesma be charged for misconduct and disgraceful and immoral conduct, provincial lawyer Mae Therese Albacete recently confirmed.

Ledesma had denied raping a masseuse inside the office of former Provincial Board member Nielo Tupas last May 25.

While he admitted using the office of former Tupas for his “massage session,” Ledesma said he merely wanted to relax his “tired” body.

“He had his body massaged in the office (of Tupas) because he was allegedly not feeling well. But he denied raping the female masseuse,” Albacete told Daily Guardian.

Due to his admission of using government office for his massage clinic, the fact-finding committee has recommended the conduct of a formal administrative charge against him.

But once approved, Albacete said that Defensor will issue an executive order for the creation of an investigation committee that will conduct the formal investigation against Ledesma.

During the course of an investigation, Ledesma will be asked to submit his sworn affidavit and other supporting documents relative to the charges hurled against him.

“We would like to remind the respondent of his responsibilities as an employee of the Provincial Government to be mindful of his conduct as a public employee and to observe professionalism as regards his acts in relation to the performance of his functions without undermining high regard to public office,” read the fact-finding report.

Ledesma, of Brgy. Bugnay, Barotac Viejo, was accused of raping a masseuse inside the office of Tupas.

Police had also filed a rape complaint against Ledesma before the Office of the Iloilo City Prosecutor.

Ledesma has been detailed to Tupas’ office since 2013. However, he was recalled for reportedly harassing some female employees in December 2018.