News and Current Affairs

Yulde rape case is real, says mediaman

Former Manila Times provincial correspondent Jaime Aquino.

A PANGASINAN based journalist denied allegations that the rape case filed against Lopez Quezon Arkie Yulde are trumped-up charges just for political propaganda or vendetta.

Last September 22, 2021, Yulde was arrested by elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) inside his house in Barangay Burgos in Lopez town based on warrants issued by Judge Roselyn Andrada-Borja of the Regional Trial Court Branch 53 in Rosales, Pangasinan.

Jaime Aquino, a former provincial correspondent of Manila Times, also absolved Congresswoman Helen Tan and her husband, DPWH director Ronnel Tan, saying that the couple had nothing to do with the case, contrary to his son, Justine Aquino’s allegations in an earlier press conference held several days ago in Makati City.

In a press conference held at the Aristocrat Restaurant, Aquino vehemently denied charges that he concocted the rape charges filed against Yulde before the courts of Rosario in Pangasinan.

He accused his 25-year-old son Justine of lying, saying that his son allowed himself to be used by people just for money. Justine, says Aquino, is neck-deep in debt due to his drug addiction and facing several Pangasinan cases.

Aquino says that his son does not know how to drive and only finished high school.

The media man also denied that he and his son invented the rape case after being promised vast sums of money by the Tan couple.

The truth is, says Aquino, he came to know the case when an anti-crime crusader called him and told him that an 18-year-old girl from Abra went forward and claimed that she was abducted and repeatedly raped by Yulde inside a motel in the city of Rosario in Pangasinan.

“My only role in this rape case is that I covered it. That’s it. I was not the one who called the media up to expose this crime committed by Councilor Yulde. The fact is, I only covered and reported about this rape case because it came to my attention and that I pitied the girl being a kababayan,” says a teary-eyed Aquino.

Police and court records show that the then 17-year-old rape victim came into the Yulde residence in San Mateo in Rizal and served as a domestic service worker.

Hailing from Abra, the victim is the niece of Yulde’s common-law wife.

In the victim’s testimony before the prosecutor in Rosario, the victim says that the abduction happened last April 17 when she asked her aunt if she could go back to her home province to spend her 18th birthday with his parents.

Based on the testimony of Yulde’s driver, the councilor reportedly volunteered to accompany the victim to a bus terminal.

When the victim was in the car already, she was allegedly held at gunpoint by Yulde and threatened to kill her and her aunt if she resisted.

Aquino says the victim, Yulde, and the councilor’s driver then went to a motel in Rosario, where the councilor repeatedly assaulted and raped the victim from April 17 to 20, 2021.

After satisfying his lust, Yulde reportedly threatened the victim not to divulge the crime to her parents.

Yulde then asked the driver to go to Abra, where they abandoned the victim to fend for herself.

The victim reportedly kept the rape secret until her 18th birthday, when she told her father what Yulde had done with her.

Afterward, the victim and her parents went to the police station and filed a kidnapping case with serious illegal detention and rape.

“This rape case happened according to the testimony of the victim, her parents, and even the driver of Yulde. The court only dismissed it because the victim failed to show up during the trial. However, she did show up during the preliminary investigation. It is hard to speculate, but the victim did not receive the summons to appear based on my research. That explains why the Yulde rape case was dismissed due to a technicality. Kawawa ang batang biktima,” Aquino adds.

Yulde was detained at Balungao Town under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology while the case was being tried. After a six-month trial, the rape case was dismissed due to the appeal by the defendant that he is being deprived of his right to a speedy trial.

The rape victim and the complainants failed to appear during the hearing.

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