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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, June 4, 2012
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Police ready charges
versus DepEd official


Charges for child abuse and other forms of rape are now being readied against an official of the Department of Education who was arrested in a reported drug den in Brgy. Banago, Bacolod City, Thursday last week.

The charges will be filed against Joshua Santillana, 55, of Fortune Towne Subdivision in Brgy. Villamonte and Dep Ed District Supervisor assigned in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, for allegedly inducing two male teenagers to use shabu before sexually assaulting them, Bacolod City Police Special operations Task Group head, Supt. Santiago Rapiz, said.

Rapiz said they are awaiting the results of the drug test conducted on Santillana and if he is found positive for illegal drug use, charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, will also be filed against him.

He said no other complainants have surfaced against Santillana so far, aside from the father of one of the two teenagers rescued from the drug den.

On Thursday, SOG, Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group and the Women and Children complaints desk rescued the two male teenagers from the house of Rommel Navarra in Purok Maabi-abihon in Brgy. Banago, where Santillana reportedly brought them to use illegal drugs.

Rapiz said the father of one of the teenagers sought their help on Wednesday, claiming that Santillana brings his son and his classmates to Barangays Banago and 2 in Bacolod and persuades them to take drugs and then molests them.

Santillana has denied the allegations saying that the teenagers, whom he met in a burger store, went with him voluntarily. He also said he was at the alleged drug den to meet with the teenagers to ask for the payment of a debt from one of them.

The teenagers, however, claimed that Santillana bought drugs for them in exchange for sexual pleasures and would even hire commercial sex workers for them.

DepEd Region 6 Director Mildred Garay has already ordered an investigation on the case and assured that Santillana will be meted appropriate administrative penalties if the allegations against him are true.

Meanwhile, Rapiz said they are also waiting for the release of the drug test result conducted on four other men arrested at the residence of Navarro during the rescue of the teenagers.

He said charges will also be filed against Rey Torrico, 27, of Cadiz City, Hans Cortez, 30 and Mark Himongala, 25, both of Silay City and Osmar Dela Fuente, 28, of Purok Nami-Nami in Brgy. Banago if they are found to be using illegal drugs.*APN

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