Boholanos outraged over gruesome slay

Governor Edgar Chatto declared that the entire Boholano population is enraged by the rape and gruesome killing of the cashier of Bohol Divers Resort’s U-bar that woke up the entire province from the complacency  after the news of a much reduced crime rate.

In support, the Provincial Peace and Order Council, chaired by the governor, passed a resolution condemning the savage act which did not only cause harm on one person but the entire family who had been depending on the victim for a living.

The governor said Bohol cannot allow such savage incident to happen again, wherein the suspect in the gruesome incident-a security  guard of the same resort that the victim worked-admitted to the media that he had two pot sessions the night before the early morning incident on January 6.

In the all-out war against both illegal drug pushers and the users, Chatto called on all sectors in the community to cooperate with the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency by providing information that can lead to the identification of personalities involved in the illegal drugs trade.

Chatto also ordered an in-depth and integrated investigation on the illegal drugs problem and the policies of security agencies in screening blue guards, considering that the victim was presumed safe in the hands of a security guard supposedly trained to protect.

The Regional Peace and Order Council will meet before the end of this month in Dumaguete City and he will bring the matter with the regional director of PADPAO to come up with parameters that security agencies should observe in screening blue guards who must be competent, psychologically fit to protect.

“Let us make sure that the death of Josephine Mecla will not be put to waste. I think the wake up call is enough for us to work and put the full force of the law against those who disturb the tranquility of our province,” Chatto said.

For his part, Panglao Councilor Walter Sultan, who attended the PPOC meeting in Antequera last Wednesday, disclosed that he had received information that a certain bar in Panglao operates beyond 10 o’clock in the evening and even up to four o’clock in the morning.

Sultan added that there is a room in the bar where drug users go for pot sessions.

The governor also ordered authorities to make regular reporting on substance abuse and drug pushing incidents, aside from the reports they present during regular meetings of the Municipal Peace and Order Councils and PPOC.

Chatto assigned the Department of Interior and Local Government in the province to monitor compliance of this order.

Moreover, the Governor’s Office is now drafting an executive order for the creation of Bohol Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force that will take charge on responding quickly to any call for assistance.

An EO will also be issued to strengthen the coordination with persons who can give tips or vital information to solve crimes and to standardize the rewards for tipsters to draw cooperation from the community.

The governor has been keen on the status of the illegal drugs problem in the province, and the strategies and plan of action that authorities undertake to make sure that what happened to Josephine Satore (or Josephine Mecla as she had been known when alive) will never happen again.

The incident touched Chatto’s heart, especially when he learned of the condition of the victim’s family when he dropped by her wake at their house in Upper Bonbon, Loboc before proceeding to the HEAT Bohol caravan in Antequera last Wednesday.

It was then that the governor learned that the victim was the family’s bread winner since her older sibling already has a family of his own and her mother is just a househelp to another family in their town, and that her younger sibling-now 17-has been adopted by another family because of financial difficulty.

It was not a simple rape with homicide that the people used to hear in the past.

The quarter-diameter bough taken from the trees at the crime scene that the suspect inserted through the genitals of the victim went up to the epigastric portion of her body. In fact, the embalmers had a hard time taking it out because the branches of the large twig in the portion that got inside the victim’s body stuck to the internal organs.

The suspect in the gruesome rape-slay admitted to the media that he also pierced the victim’s eyes with barbecue sticks and inserted another tree branch in her mouth.

The Criminal Investigation Division of the Bohol Police Provincial Office, headed by Police Inspector Pelagio Rosagaran, filed a complaint on January 9 against Erwin Escomo, 21, the security guard of the resort where Mecla worked.

The complaint was received by Fiscal Ponciano Uy at the Provincial Fiscal’s Office and Escomo was given 10 days to file his counter-affidavit with the assistance of the Public Attorney’s Office.

Rosagaran said the preliminary hearing is set on January 18.


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