Two wanted persons nabbed over rape raps

By Jennifer P. Rendon

(UPDATED) Two men in their 20s who are facing rape charges were arrested in separation police operations in Iloilo province.

But one of them claimed that he voluntarily surrendered to the police.

The suspects were identified as EJ Efondo, 22, of Barangay Navillan, Tubungan, Iloilo and John Eric Cayona, 28, of Barangay Parara Sur, Tigbauan, Iloilo.

Both suspects are also ranked as the top four most wanted persons in their respective hometowns.

Members of Tubungan Municipal Police Station arrested Efondo at his house around 8:50 a.m. on Wednesday. He is accused of rape by carnal knowledge under Article 266-A, Para. 1 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act 8353 (The Anti-Rape Law of 1997), in relation to RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) docketed under Criminal Case no. 3839.

No bail was set for his temporary liberty.

At around 1:50 p.m., members of Tigbauan Municipal Police Station nabbed Cayona at Barangay Gerona-Gemino, Guimbal town.

A casual employee of a state university, the suspect was accused of rape by sexual assault docketed as Criminal Case No. 3850.

Judge Nelita Jesusa Arboleda-Bacaling of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court Branch 72 in Guimbal, Iloilo issued the arrest warrant on Feb. 17, 2023.

Bail for his temporary liberty was set at P170,000.

Captain Mary Jane Panes, Tigbauan police chief, said Cayona was accused by a househelp, who is “slightly mentally-challenged and is in her 40s.”

The case was reported late to police authorities, she added.

The two suspects are now detained pending the proper disposition of their case.

Cayona’s camp disputed the report that he was arrested, claiming that he voluntarily surrendered to the police based on a certification of detention issued by the Guimbal Municipal Police Station on Feb 22, 2023.

But the PNP defines voluntary surrender as an act of a suspect who turns himself in during a hot pursuit operation or before the court issues the arrest warrant.

In Cayona’s case, the police said he surrendered after the issuance of the warrant which was served to him when he showed up at the police station, thus he was considered arrested.