FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – The woman who accused Army soldiers gang-raping her withdraws the charges that she filed before a Masbate court, a military official said.
Lieutenant Colonel Jun Pacatan, the Commanding Officer of the 9thInfantry Battalion, said that the rape case filed by a certain "Lanie" (name withheld) was withdrawn by the complainant in her Affidavit of Desistance that she signed on February 20 (Monday).
Pacatan said that Atty Richard Riveral, the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Masbate, was present during the signing.
“The affidavit states that that allegation that she was raped or sexually abused by the respondents on January 30 and February 2 inside the military camp located in Puro village, Milagros town is not true,” said Pacatan.
Pacatan disclosed that the alleged rape victim followed her conscience and voluntarily withdrew the charges against her friends who invited her inside camp.
"The woman said that her accusations were not true, and that in the interest of justice, she prayed for the dismissal of the complaint," added Pacatan.
It can be recalled that "Lanie" engaged in a drinking spree with the soldiers inside the camp late evening on January 30, 2012.
Her soldier-friends allowed her inside the camp premises of Bravo Company/9th IB in Puro village, without the knowledge of the officers and senior enlisted men who are responsible over them.
She returned in the same camp on February 2 where she was again welcomed by one of the soldiers. Together, they went strolling in the nearby village of Calachuche.
The investigation conducted by the 9th Infantry Battalion disclosed that, "there were no indications of commotion or noises" during the time that the woman was inside camp.
The investigating body was also wondering why Lanie returned to the camp on February 2 after she was allegedly 'raped' by the soldiers.
She never complained to the military authorities about the alleged rape.
Despite the withdrawal of the case against them, the soldiers will face administrative cases filed against them.
Pacatan said that he will never condone the wrongdoing of his soldiers who violated Army regulations by secretly allowing a civilian inside camp for a drinking session.
"I have relieved all the accused soldiers from their posts, including their Company Commander and the First Sergeant who will face sanctions for command responsibility. The six soldiers are now facing charges (Articles of War) filed before the Army's Provost Marshall Office in 9ID headquarters," he said.
Meanwhile, Major Harold M Cabunoc, the Army Spokesperson, said that the Philippine Army will never tolerate any transgressions to their regulations.
"Our efforts to transform the Army is a continuous process and a daunting task that we must fulfill. We are a professional organization led by competent leaders who want to make the Army the source of national pride," said Cabunoc.