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Philippine News Digest 65

December 12, 2003 · 

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Contents:
=Rapist escapes death sentence as prosecution bungles case

=Korean faces charges for molesting 11 girls

=Ethnic group decries rights ‘violations’ by Army

Rapist escapes death sentence as prosecution bungles case
A rapist convicted on August 2, 2002 by the Malabon Regional Trial Court for raping his daughter on December 25, 1996 escaped the death penalty when the Supreme Court reduced his sentence from death to 40 years in prison due to the prosecution’s failure “to prove that appelant is indeed (the victim’s) father and that she was under 18 years of age when the crime of rape was committed against her.” The SC also reduced the civil indemnity the convict had to pay to his daughter from P75,000 to P50,000 but it also ordered the convict to pay her P50,000 in moral damages. Source: Philippine C. Tubeza in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 19 December 2003.

Korean faces charges for molesting 11 girls

Jeong Keon Lee, a Korean, is facing 10 counts of acts of lasciviousness and one count of rape for allegedly molesting 11 girls in Cebu City. According to the affidavit of Lee’s former bodyguard, Lee and his co-accused Ma. Alona Sala lured the victims into joining a scholarship program but ended up being forced into satisfying Lee’s sexual demands. A 17-year old girl claimed Lee raped her in April after she was brought to the Korean’s hotel room by Sala and one Nimpha Belo who were watching television in another room while the incident is happening. Lee, Sala and Belo denied the accusations but the city prosecutor debunked their denial as it failed to overweigh the testimonies of the complainants. The victims had already filed affidavits of desistance but prosecutors went ahead with the filing based on the provisions of Republic Act 7610 or the Child Welfare Act. Acting Cebu City Prosecutor said the victims might have been bribed in order not to pursue the charges against the Korean. Source: Jolene R. Bulambot in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 11 December 2003.

Ethnic group decries rights ‘violations’ by Army

Leaders of the Central Luzon Aeta Association (CLAA) in Pampanga and Zambales assailed Army soldiers for allegedly violating the rights of Aetas in those provinces. Among the violations cited by the Aetas were the soldiers orders on banning the wearing of underwear and on the use of big cooking cauldrons, threats, harassments, arrests, false accusations and food blockades. The leaders claim being told by the Army that it was not part of the Aeta culture to wear underwear; that only NPA rebels usually wear them so those found in their houses belonged to the NPA. They were also prohibited from buying or using big cauldrons that can be used for preparing food for the rebels. They appealed for the immediate removal of military detachments in their upland villages and scored on the Commission on Human Rights for failing to intervene on behalf of the CLAA. Source: Tonette Orejas in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 11 December 2003.

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