Rape-slay suspect is a former rebel

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MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato: Authorities formally filed rape with homicide charges on Wednesday against the suspect for the rape and killing of a 7-year-old girl in Mahongkog village, Magpet, North Cotabato last week.

Magpet Police chief Maj. John Calinga identified the suspect as Rogelio Villafuerte Jr., a former communist rebel who recently surrendered to government forces.

Calinga previously withheld the name of the suspect to the public because Villafuerte alleged that he was still a minor, but further investigation showed that he is already 18 years old.

He said suspects commonly claim that they are minors, believing they can be exempted from criminal liability.

Police investigation also found out that the suspect was alone in committing the crime, contrary to a previous claim that he conspired with someone to rape the victim.

Calinga said the suspect wanted to mislead police investigations by providing false information. The suspect eventually admitted that he was under the influence of illegal drugs when he committed the crime.

According to a Philippine National Police report, the victim was with her siblings when the suspect approached them. The suspect allegedly paid the other siblings to leave the crime scene so he could be alone with the victim.