September 29, 2023

The suspect in the rape-slay of a 10-year-old girl in Itogon, Benguet recently is facing murder and rape charges, as local officials joined the victim’s family in calling for justice.
Benguet caretaker Rep. Eric Yap and Benguet Police Provincial Office Director, Col. Rene Pasiwen visited the victim’s house on Feb. 6 to comfort the family.
Yap handed financial assistance to the victim’s parents and paid for the funeral expenses.
“Hindi ito katanggap-tanggap.Haharapin nung suspect ang batas at hustisya. Kung anong ginawa nya, he will suffer all the consequences,” Yap said.
The 10-year-old victim was earlier reported missing on Feb. 4 after telling her mother that she would take a bath in a communal bathroom.
When the victim failed to return to their bunkhouse at Philex Mines in Padcal, Tuba, the mother went to the communal bathroom, but only found her child’s clothes.
The mother prompted her neighbors to look for her daughter and reported the incident to the police.
The victim’s body was discovered the next day by residents of Ampucao, Itogon dumped in a 50-meter ravine at Sitio Skyline.
Suspect Gilbert Salinas, 40, of Pozurobio, Pangasinan was identified through a CCTV surveillance footage.
He was seen carrying a sack at the time the victim was reported missing.
The suspect, who is a miner and a resident of Philex, said he is remorseful for what he did to the victim.
“Sobra iti konsensiyak iti inaramid ko. Haan ak nga nakaturturog enggana tadta iti nangyari ijay ubing. Dyta paratang da kanyak ket takderak kon, sapay kuma ket ta mapalag-an uray iti puso da kanyak,” the suspect said in a radio interview.
Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan called on the Philex Mines Corporation to conduct regular monitoring of its bunkhouses to abate possible untoward incidents.
The mining company earlier said it would conduct decongestion of its bunkhouses in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Palangdan said communal bathrooms are common in bunkhouses. 
The Itogon Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office coordinated with the victim’s family to provide financial support and other assistance the family needs. – Ofelia C. Empian