NOVALICHES: '117' SAVES THE DAY
MANILA, January 2, 2004 (STAR) A woman from Novaliches, Quezon City could have become a victim of rape if not for the timely assistance of police and barangay tanods who arrested a suspect through an information relayed by a concerned citizen to the governmentís emergency hotline number 117.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Joey Lina said the quick arrest of the suspect was made last week by alert operatives from the Novaliches police station following the call.
The hotline 117 is an anti-crime and development program of the DILG, Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Foundation for Crime Prevention allowing the public to dial or text 117 for quick assistance in emergency cases.
Lina identified the suspect as Eric Juan, 26, a native of Nueva Ecija and resident of Barangay Pasong Tamo in Quezon City. The 25-year-old victim is a resident of Barangay Sauyo, Novaliches.
According to the report, the 117 operator called up the Novaliches police about a supposed rape incident at Barangay Sauyo. The desk officer immediately called up the duty police at the said barangay. They then proceeded to the location of the incident to verify the information.
The responding team, assisted by security guard Emiliano Ortiz, arrested the suspect who was about to flee the scene.
During the investigation, it was revealed that the suspect had begun touching the victimís private parts when her sister-in-law arrived and shouted for help. This caught the attention of Ortiz, who along with barangay tanods, chased the suspect. He was eventually cornered and arrested by police.
Charges of acts of lasciviousness have been filed before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court against the suspect, who is now detained at the Novaliches police station. ó Pia Lee-Brago
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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