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Unsolved rape-slay victim symbol of Women’s Day celebration

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LEGASPI City, ALBAY, March 8, 2015 — The call for just justice for the unsolved murder of a university student has become the rallying cry of militant groups in their commemoration of Women’s Day in Albay over the weekend.

Led by Gabriela-Bicol, various radical groups under the umbrella organization Bayan Muna condemned law enforcement agencies for failing to bring to justice the perpetrators of the gruesome rape and killing of Laesybil Almonacid, almost four years back.

The activists marched towards Pinaglabanan Monument bearing placards demanding justice for Almonacid and other women victims of injustice in the Bicol region.

CAFGU suspects?

According to Jen Nagrampa, spokesperson of Gabriela-Bicol, the unresolved case shows not only the incompetence of law enforcement agencies but that of the government as well in addressing issues of violence against women.

Nagrampa alleged that the most of these cases on record are perpetuated by government agents as in the case of Almonacid.

Police investigators, according to Nagrampa, bungled the probe when they failed to follow procedures after DNA swabbing of several persons of interest.

That blunder pulled back to the investigation to square one.

The 19-year old fourth year Commerce student of Bicol University, Laesybil Almonacid, was found dead a few meters from their small house in Brgy. Bascaran, Daraga, Albay after failing to return home on Nov. 1, 2011.

Suspicions immediately turned to a member or members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) detachment nearby.

Results of the DNA swabbing were spoiled after a delay in the actual laboratory examination of the specimens.

Witnesses

The detachment was later turned over to the PNP Provincial Public Safety Company and the CAFGUs assigned to the area were transferred to another camp.

Sources from within the military revealed that some of these CAFGU members have already retired or have been transferred somewhere else.

The family of the victim continue to express their dismay particularly in the handling of evidence that could have solved the crime.

At present, the investigators are doing next to nothing except to publicly call for witnesses to come forward.

Given the almost four years that have passed, the Gabriela spokesperson says even that call may be facing a dead end. (Joey B. Garalde/CBCPNews)


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